The Seattle Storm is close to an agreement with the city of Seattle to extend the WNBA franchise's KeyArena lease for more than a decade. It also includes a significant penalty if the franchise was forced to relocate to a different venue due to a proposed renovation at KeyArena.
The deal, outlined in a new ordinance in front of the Seattle City Council, was forwarded by Seattle Mayor Ed Murray earlier this month. It aims to tear up the existing lease deal, which ends in December of 2018, and replace it will a new agreement, which would solidify the Storm's future at KeyArena through December 31, 2028.
The agreement outlines things like revenue splits for concessions, parking, and other proceeds.
The city's ordinance would be an agreement with Storm owners Force 10 Hoops. It outlines how both parties "wish to enter into an agreement that provides for the continuation of sustainable, local ownership of the Storm and for the maximum use of KeyArena both now and in the future" and "the Parties share a mutual interest in women’s professional basketball continuing to thrive in
However, there is also a significant penalty if the franchise was forced to play in another arena if KeyArena is renovated. On page 35 of the tentative deal, it says a Storm relocation could cost the city millions of dollars a year.
"The City’s obligation to pay F10H for Additional Costs and Lost Revenue due to relocation shall be capped at $260,000 per Home Game up to ten (10) games per season, and up to $2.6 million per season, with the exception of payments for playoff games during dislocation. Payments for playoff games during relocation are in addition to the payments for additional costs and lost revenue and are paid at flat rate fees established in preceding paragraphs, and
shall not count towards the cap," the tentative deal reads.
It alludes to the idea that the Storm could be forced to relocate for up to three seasons in the course of a KeyArena renovation. The city is currently deliberating over two plans of more than $500 million to renovate and replace the current structure at Seattle Center.
The ordinance mandates that the Storm's deal will transfer to the new Arena as well, under the same terms and conditions.
A Storm spokesperson said they had no comment about the deal.
A public hearing will be held in city council chambers Friday at 2 p.m. The deal needs council approval.
The franchise has played at KeyArena since 2000 and has won two WNBA titles.