If and when the Sonics return to Seattle, they are almost certainly going to have to play at Key Arena for one, two, possibly three seasons before taking up residence in the new SoDo arena currently being designed. Considering that it was thought to be untenable as an NBA arena when the Sonics left, will she be ready for her swan song?
Seattle Center spokeswoman Deborah Daoust told reporters Monday "We are trying to figure out now what all this means." She added that the preparedness of Key Arena "hasn't been addressed yet because the sale has only been a rumor."
That said, she also added, "We're ready."
As part of the SoDo arena deal, Chris Hansen is required to spend $12-15M on improvements to the arena to make sure it's capable of hosting 40+ Sonics games a year until its time comes.
There is also the question of events currently planned for Key Arena (Seattle U basketball, Seattle Storm basketball, concerts, roller derby bouts, etc.) and how scheduling might be an issue.
One group not too worried about the details that will bring basketball back to Key Arena are the business owners of Lower Queen Anne. The chance for 41 busy nights at the many bars & restaurants that surround Key Arena will have a huge impact on the local economy and probably save a few places, too.
· Seattle officials prepare KeyArena for the return of the Sonics [PSBJ]
· Seattle planning since fall for NBA return to KeyArena [MyNorthwest]
· Lower Queen Anne businesses already looking forward to return of the Sonics [Seattle Times]