New sketches of the conceptual designs for a new NBA / NHL arena in Seattle were released Friday, including the "preferred option" by design architects.
The designs by 360 Architecture, working for investor Chris Hansen, are considered prototypes and not final designs, but they do shed light on how the building might look in the SODO neighborhood just south of Safeco Field.
The sketches include the first architectural designs for the arena's exterior. The team store, along with a practice facility, appears to be part of the plan. According to the sketches, the major entrance of the arena appears to be on the north side, to work in conjunction with entertainment district.
“One looks like a big vent, one looks like a boat and one looks like the old King Dome,” said Bruce Zornes, a sports fan.
The first design resembles a glass shell around the arena and the second is rectangular with an open plaza.
The third is the “preferred choice” by designers. It features tall glass windows and steps aimed to create a front porch downtown feel.
“It confirms that any alternative site and analysis in the future is and will be a sham,” said Peter Goldman, an attorney with Longshoreman’s Union ILWU Local 19.
According to environmental attorney, Peter Goldman, the release of the designs before a state environmental policy act review is complete, violates the law.
Goldman claims investor Chris Hansen is attempting to create irreversible momentum in the favor of the site.
“A political momentum so that no city council member, no county council member would chose an alternative site,” said Goldman.
The arena is no slam dunk. It needs to secure an NBA team and have an environmental impact study completed.
Harrison Torrence , a sports fan, hopes it becomes a reality.
“That’s exactly what we need to bring people in, get revenue to the city,” he said.
The formal application for the project said Hansen wants to build a 725,000-square foot arena, which would actually be smaller than the Portland, Memphis and San Antonio arenas, but bigger than the one in Miami.
A hearing is scheduled next month for the design review of the arena. At a February court date, ILWU Local 19 plans to ask a judge to strike down Hansen’s current site, going back to square one in the search for a new arena location.