More professional sports franchises could be heading to Seattle.
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and the Oak View Group (OVG) have reached a formal agreement for a privately funded $600 million dollar arena at the Seattle Center. The deal could include up to $100 million dollars in transportation mitigation if needed.
Construction on the site could begin as early as next year with completion aimed for 2020.
Seattle City Council will be given a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) today with regard to the project.
OVG is lead by Tim Leiweke, former president and CEO of Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) and Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment. Those two groups owned the Los Angeles Kings and Toronto Maple Leafs on top of other sports properties.
The city is going to offer a 39-year lease as part of the deal with two eight-year options attached as well. Those would take place if certain financial goals are or aren't met, most importantly if the site lands an NBA and NHL franchise.
University of Washington alum and billionaire David Bonderman has reportedly put money into the building himself, according to Leiweke. Bonderman is seen as a key investor for any potential NHL franchise in Seattle.
When the NBA was asked for comment about the plans for a new arena, NBA spokesman Mike Bass said: “The NBA is not involved in the ongoing Seattle arena process, and we have no plans to expand at this time.”
The NHL is not directly involved with ongoing arena discussions in Seattle but is "being kept apprised," per deputy commissioner Bill Daly.