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AEG will submit a KeyArena proposal

They’ve been waiting months for this

Ted S. Warren / AP Images

The City of Seattle issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) to “reimagine KeyArena” yesterday—but some groups have been chomping at the bit for quite a while. Among them: festival-and-arena giant Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG).

While the RFP leaves room for a remodel or a tear-down, in an interview with KING 5’s Chris Daniels, AEG Facilities President Bob Newman seemed enthusiastic about a remodel option. He cited technological advances that would allow them to keep the roof—which was built for the 1962 World’s Fair—while still redeveloping the arena NBA and NHL ready.

“We would design it as if one of our own teams were coming in,” he said—but told the Seattle Times editorial board that they’d put in the works whether teams were on their way or not.

AEG has contracted with the City of Seattle to provide support services, like programming and marketing, since 2008—so they’d be an obvious choice from that perspective. But AEG has been under increased scrutiny over reports of founder Philip Anschutz’s contributions to anti-gay organizations like the Family Research Council. Anschutz has denied these reports, but also said that “donations have ceased.” (One or the other!)

Another group that has expressed interest is the Oak View Group, co-founded by a former AEG CEO in 2015. A New Mexico investment firm has also expressed interest in the past.

Still no word on the RFP from the team behind the five year-long effort to build an NBA and NHL arena in SODO—hedge fund manager Chris Hansen, former NBA player Wally Walker, two Nordstroms, and, recently, Russell Wilson—but if Hansen wouldn’t take KeyArena for free, it seems doubtful he’d be interested now.

The Anti-LGBT Ties of the Concert Giant Behind Bumbershoot [Seattle Weekly]

KeyArena

305 Harrison St., Seattle, WA 98109