- Architecture firm Populous and Los Angeles-based developer Oak View Group (OVG) have revealed plans for a $660 million renovation of Seattle's KeyArena, according to the Puget Sound Business Journal.
- The multi-event venue will see a near doubling of its interior space to 680,000 square feet without making any changes to the original 1960s roofline, which has landmark status. When complete, the KeyArena will feature a new glass atrium, which will give those on the building's exterior a look at the slope of the roof and add space for attendees. Developers have also included an upper-deck club space where fans can view the arena bowl and the Space Needle at the same time.
- OVG and the Seattle City Council signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in December for the renovation, but the Council must still give its final approval for the deal. OVG will privately finance the renovation, and, even though the developer has not hired a general contractor yet, officials said construction should begin in October and take two years.
According to the project's MOU, OVG has agreed to cover any construction budget overruns and will contribute $40 million for a transportation fund and will establish a $20 million community benefits fund. OVG will also lease the arena for 39 years and has guaranteed that it will pay rent to the city in an amount that is at least equal to what the city currently takes in from the venue.
Sports and concert arena renovations are increasingly including wow factors like the new KeyArena's atrium and views of the Seattle Space Needle. But Populous, the project architect, is also behind a unique arena project planned for the Las Vegas Strip, Madison Square Garden Co.'s MSG Sphere Arena Las Vegas.
Dodge Data & Analytics pegged the cost of the 18,000-seat Sphere at $450 million in its last Momentum Index report. In addition to being connected to the strip via pedestrian bridges, the venue will boast what project officials say is the largest, high-definition screen on Earth, as well as a programmable exterior with 36 miles of LED lights.