SEATTLE - It's a monumental step toward NHL Expansion as the Seattle City Council today voted in favor of the Seattle Center Arena project.
A $700 million dollar renovation of the historic arena is scheduled to get underway this fall under the management of Tim Leiweke and the Oak View Group.
"Today is a historic day for the future of our city and the New Arena at Seattle Center," said Leiweke. "We are one step closer to transforming an iconic landmark into a state-of-the-art arena that sets a new global standard at no risk to the City or taxpayers, while still preserving the soul, character, and honoring the Champions of an arena that has given Seattle so much."
The vote marks the end of a 15-month long negotiation between the City of Seattle and Oak View Group resulting in a completely privately financed project and a world class venue to host NHL hockey, Storm basketball, music, entertainment, and the eventual return of the Sonics.
"Now it's time to go to work, said Leiweke. "Our team stands ready to begin the next phase of this process and we plan to continue to communicate with our neighborhood and city partners to mobilize towards construction and our groundbreaking. In our conversations with members in communities across Seattle and our region, it has been amazing to see the excitement around this project and we are anxious to take this next step towards making a dream a reality."
With this milestone behind them, the group now turns its focus toward approval of an NHL Expansion Franchise. David Bonderman leads an esteemed group of investors alongside the Leiweke brothers to present their case to the NHL Executive Committee on October 2nd in New York City.
The NHL Board of Governors is slated to vote on the Seattle Expansion in early December.