Macklemore, Sir Mix-a-Lot, other musicians back SoDo arena, KeyArena remodel

Macklemore, Sir Mix-a-Lot, and Duff McKagan of Guns N' Roses are among the heavy hitting musicians who have a signed their names to a letter pushing for the approval of a SoDo arena and KeyArena remodel.

A Seattle City Hall source provided the letter to KING 5 on Tuesday.

The musicians and artists wrote in the letter that there is a need for a mid-level arts venue in Seattle. 

Chris Hansen's investment group has pitched a redevelopment of KeyArena into a 6,200-seat indoor concert space with an additional amphitheater and 500-seat venue.

The letter, which was addressed to Mayor Tim Burgess and Council members, reads in part:

"Music is a crucial part of Seattle’s identity. When people around the world are asked about Seattle, the first words out of their mouths are usually technology, coffee, and music.

"As members of Seattle’s music community, we are writing to voice our strong support for the efforts of the local investment team of Chris Hansen, Wally Walker, Erik Nordstrom, Pete Nordstrom, and Russell Wilson to build a privately-funded arena in Seattle’s Stadium District. We also enthusiastically support their new proposal to privately fund the redevelopment of KeyArena as a world-class, mid-size concert venue.

"Their proposal to redevelop KeyArena as a music and arts space is especially important to our community. Seattle currently has a good portfolio of venues with capacities of 2,500 and below, but few options in the 3,000-6,000 range, a size that has become increasingly important for artists as the music industry’s primary revenue stream has shifted from recorded music to live performance.

"The renovated KeyArena would include a 6,200-seat indoor concert space, a 3,000-seat covered amphitheater, and a 500-seat theater for more intimate performances. These new mid-size venues would fill a crucial gap for the local music community and touring artists, while creating a world-class outdoor viewing experience that is currently missing in Seattle. They would also perfectly complement the 16,000-21,000-seat capacity of the proposed SoDo Arena for large-scale concerts.

"These new facilities would enhance local events such as Bumbershoot and the Northwest Folklife Festival and attract other music and entertainment events to Seattle Center, increasing the vibrancy of the local music scene. Plus, this plan would truly support the mission and long-term vision for Seattle Center without the negative impacts a larger-scale development would have on surrounding neighborhoods."

Chad Queirolo, of AEG and Bumbershoot, is among the 33 names on the letter. Musician Ben London, Jason Finn and Dave Dederer of the Presidents of the USA, and Dave Hernandez of The Shins also attached their names to the letter.

>>Should KeyArena be subdivided? Concert promoters question idea

Hansen's idea, which came after a designated Request for Proposals for a KeyArena renovation, has not garnered much traction at Seattle City Hall. Hansen's group formally offered to privately finance the KeyArena renovation and pay for a new arena in SoDo.

However, the Office of Economic Development and City Council continue to move forward on a tentative memorandum of understanding on a new arena at Seattle Center.

On Saturday, the Oak View Group sponsored an open house for citizens on designs and traffic ideas. Earlier Tuesday, Burgess told KING 5 there were no huge red flags with the OVG proposal, noting "I've not heard anything from council members that there is any major problem or concerns about that proposal."

Oak View has talked about the great potential for the Seattle Center site as a state-of-the-art entertainment venue and has Live Nation as an equity partner in the $660 million privately financed project. 

In fact, Live Nation told KING 5 in September there was no need for another mid-sized venue in Seattle.

Macklemore, who is playing KeyArena for a pair of concerts later this year, apparently disagrees.

© 2017 KING-TV


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