Do you want to find out how you can be involved in the redevelopment of the Seattle Center Arena? Learn more here.

Information for Community Members

Arena Advisory Group

As part of the ongoing process of evaluating plans for the possible redevelopment of the Arena at Seattle Center into a state-of-the-art entertainment and sports facility that could potentially bring the NHL and the NBA to Seattle, the City of Seattle assembled an Arena Community Advisory Group.

  The group's purpose is:

  • To help the City ensure that a redeveloped Arena would connect and integrate with Seattle Center and surrounding neighborhoods and advise on mobility planning
  • To partner with the City in the development of labor agreements supporting current and future workers
  • To champion "Women and Minority Business Enterprises" policy inclusion in any forthcoming agreements that may be negotiated

   Members of the Arena Community Advisory Group include:

  • Monty Anderson - Executive Secretary, Seattle Building and Construction Trades Council
  • John Barr - NHL to Seattle
  • Robert Cardona - Uptown Alliance
  • Andrea Caupain - Chief Executive Officer, Centerstone
  • Evan Clifthorne - Project Belltown
  • Brian Curry - 10 Mercer Restaurant and Seattle Center Advisory Commission member
  • Deborah Frausto - Uptown Alliance
  • Ollie Garrett - President, Tabor 100
  • Nicole Grant - Executive Secretary, Martin Luther King County Labor Council
  • Mike McQuaid - South Lake Union Community Council
  • Ellen Monrad - Queen Anne Community Council
  • Brian Robinson - Founder, Sonics Rising
  • Hester Serebrin - Transportation Choices Coalition
  • Sarah Wilke - Executive Director, Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF)
  • Jane Zalutsky - Executive Director, Seattle Center Foundation

The group will meet on an ongoing basis through the permitting and environmental review processes and development of any final development agreements that may be negotiated.

Guiding Principles 

The "Guiding Principles" outlined by the Arena Community Advisory Group support and guide the Arena's redevelopment and will ground the City, OVG and community partners in their shared responsibilities by defining the aspirations and values for this innovative and transformative project. 

The final document was transmitted to the City Council along with the negotiated MOU on September 12th, 2017. The document was also translated into six languages for community transparency.

Full text of Guiding Principles:


Q: When will the renovated Seattle Center Arena open?

A: If the entire process moves ahead on schedule, Oak View Group hopes to open the rebuilt arena October 2020.

Q: When will the NBA come back to Seattle?

A: In short, no one knows. The best we can do is prepare our City for their eventual expansion, or team relocation. NBA Commissioner recently told reporters, expansion is "inevitable" and Seattle is on the list for possible cities. By redeveloping the Seattle Center Arena to meet NBA standards, we're one step closer to bringing back the Sonics. In addition to the work City officials continue to do to maintain relationships with the NBA, Oak View Group has strong relationships with NBA team owners and the commissioners, and will continue to work towards bringing back the Sonics with the City of Seattle, and the community.

Q: When will the NHL come to Seattle?

A: Oak View Group is working hard to bring the NHL to Seattle. With the redevelopment of KeyArena, Seattle will be in a prime position to attract a new NHL team. The NHL is currently considering a Seattle NHL franchise application. While we don't know for sure when a team will come, we're all preparing to make Seattle an attractive location for professional hockey for the day when the NHL chooses to expand.

Q: What is the timeline for the development project?

A: We have it available for you here.

Q: What is an EIS?

A: An EIS is an Environmental Impact Statement prepared under the State Environmental Policy Act (RCW 43.21C). An EIS evaluates probable adverse environmental impacts based on a proposal, here, the proposal is the renovation of the Seattle Center Arena.

Q: What has OVG agreed to regarding construction completion guarantees with the City of Seattle?

A: The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) anticipates that OVG to obtain a guarantee of completion from the construction management company. Additionally, OVG must provide evidence of sufficient capital to fund the construction of the arena development through loan commitments and equity. The required equity portion will be deposited into an account for the benefit of the project construction in either cash or letters of credit prior to the commencement of construction.

Q: What if the construction cost exceeds the amounts deposited in the construction account?

A: OVG is responsible for all construction over-runs related to the project budget estimate. Additional loans or equity will be deposited by OVG and/or its equity partners as needed.

Q: What responsibilities does the City have regarding the operations of the newly developed arena?

A: The City will not have any operating responsibilities for the new arena.

Q: Who is responsible for funding future capital expenditures for the arena project and how can the City be certain that the arena will be maintained at a high level?

A: OVG and its arena operations team will be responsible for setting aside funds and making expenditures for all future capital needs. The MOU outlines a schedule for significant annual deposits and expenditures to a capital expenditure fund and describes arena standards around which OVG will use those funds to maintain the arena project throughout the term of their operating lease.

Check out City Council's FAQ here. 


The City of Seattle Office for Arts and Culture (ARTS) will work with OVG and other City departments to facilitate the investment of one percent (1%) of the Arena's capital construction costs into the cultural ecology of Uptown and Belltown. Working closely with the Arena Community Advisory Group, Uptown Arts and Cultural District, and the Seattle Arts Commission, ARTS will develop a competitive granting program to distribute funds, which could include matching funding, and a public art experience suitable for the site, including infrastructure and programming that can support the vibrant arts community in Uptown and Belltown. These investments will be made with a lens of equity and social justice.

Arena Art Plan Summary

Economic Development

Markham McIntyre, Director
Address: 700 5th Ave, Suite 5752, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 94708, Seattle, WA, 98124-4708
Phone: (206) 684-8090
Phone Alt: (206) 684-0379
Fax: (206) 684-0379

Newsletter Updates


Sign up for the latest updates from Economic Development

The mission of the Office of Economic Development (OED) is to help create healthy businesses, thriving neighborhoods, and community organizations to contribute to a robust economy that will benefit all Seattle residents and future generations.