The city of Seattle has been yearning for an NBA team to return to their town. Ever the since the sale of the Supersonics to Clay Bennett and the Oklahoma City Thunder, many have wondered if the league would consider expanding the league to bring a team back to the city.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has recently discussed the option of expanding. The fashion in which Silver talks of expansion leads one to believe that it may be a matter of later rather than sooner.
According to Chris Daniels of King 5, the city will be prepared, as the mayor has announced a deal for a new arena.
— Chris Daniels (@ChrisDaniels5) September 12, 2017
Following from King 5:
The deal calls for construction to begin next year and be complete by 2020.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), as it is commonly known, was formally submitted to the Seattle City Council on Tuesday morning in the Select Committee for Civic Arenas.
OVG co-founder and CEO Tim Leiweke said in a statement that the MOU is a step forward in bringing Seattle an arena at Seattle Center.
“The completion of the MOU provides a level of certainty that Seattle has never had before, and OVG, the City Council, elected officials and the residents of Seattle, must now turn our attention to the NHL and NBA and make it undeniably clear that we are more than ready for them to come to Seattle,” Leiweke said in a statement…
We will build this. We will take all the risk from the city. We will take care of the costs associated with whatever the impacts of this arena in this community,” Lopes said.
OVG, led by Leiweke, has committed $40 million for transportation mitigation around Seattle Center and $20 million for a community fund in addition to the cost of the arena. That could push the project well over two-thirds of a billion dollars in private financing. Half of the community fund will go towards YouthCare and addressing youth homelessness.
The renovations to KeyArena do not necessarily suggest that Commissioner Silver will immediately push for a team to call the pacific northwest home. Nevertheless, a new arena is a step in the right direction in convincing the league to think harder about the possibility.