For all you diehard fans of the REAL Seattle SuperSonics, hope is not lost and is floating in the air.
The Key Arena is currently in the process of almost a billion dollar makeover as construction crews spent 2019 digging down.
Now, 2020 is about going up. (Yay!)
The iconic and historic roof of the old Key Arena is designated as a landmark and was to be preserved.
So that makes things kind of tricky for construction.
The 44-million pound roof is being held up by 70 support beams or columns and a large kickstand beam while crews dig down an extra 53 feet down from the previous floor.
The new Arena, (not yet named) will be expanded from 400,000 square feet to 800,000 square feet.
Sixty trucks have already removed over three-quarters of all the dirt in this massive project.
“This is one of a kind,” said Ken Jensen, in an article by Andrew Eide of NHL.com
Jensen is a construction executive for Oak View Group, which is overseeing the work for the $930 million project that is all privately funded.
Some might remember that just a short time ago, the Key Arena was renovated… that was in 1995.
However certain commissioners of the NBA felt that the Key Arena was too small and didn’t meet the requirements of an NBA facility.
So, they (Seattle) either need to expand the Key Arena and increase the capacity, (during a recession might I add) or your team will relocate!
Well, the team moved to the dust bowl known as Oklahoma City and became the Buffalo Chips, excuse me sorry, (cough, cough) they became the Thunder.
Can you just imagine seeing Kevin Durant actually playing in a Sonics jersey and not just for one year? Or seeing Russell Westbrook or James Harden all those years in a Sonics jersey? (Yeeeaaaa, good things like that don’t happen to Seattle).
Thankfully, the NBA’s new commissioner is actually open to expansion and somewhat understands the raw deal that Seattle got, just so certain people could fill their pockets with relocating the Sonics to Oklahoma City. (cough, cough, excuse me).
The new Seattle Center Arena is scheduled to be completed by the summer of 2021 in time for the inaugural season of NHL hockey in Seattle.
I feel the NHL team will only give the city of Seattle more collateral in its attempts to secure an NBA franchise down the road.
And this new arena will, I repeat WILL meet the standards as far as capacity goes, and as far as an up-to-date and modern NBA Facility.
The Capacity for basketball games for the new arena will be at 18,600, up from 17,200 from the old Key Arena.
For the NHL hockey games that will begin in the fall of 2021, the capacity will be 17,400.
The new arena won’t be the biggest in the NBA or NHL, but it will be somewhere towards the middle as far as capacity goes.
If more and more players like Zion Williamson and Luka Doncic evolve, the NBA will have enough depth throughout the league to expand for two more teams.
If it were up to me, I would say Seattle is a unanimous decision for an expansion team and Vancouver, British Columbia would be the other city I would target.
I suppose the decision to expand the league falls upon current NBA commissioner Adam Silver and hopefully he doesn’t have some personal vendetta against Seattle like the former NBA commissioner did. #bringbackoursonics