Industry veteran to oversee Seattle Center arena construction

Steve Mattson oversaw a $140 million renovation of the center that hosts the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The Oak View Group has hired an industry veteran as the director of operations for the new arena at Seattle Center.

OVG says it has hired Steve Mattson to oversee the operations at the arena. He's spent the last 16 years at the vice president and general manager at the Target Center in Minneapolis. Mattson oversaw a $140 million renovation of that building, which hosts the NBA's Minnesota Timberwolves.

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Mattson will be responsible for the approval, construction, and pre-opening phases of the arena.

“As an arena operator, this project is an opportunity of a lifetime. We will deliver a cutting edge and innovative world-class arena to Seattle and make it one of the most desired sports and live entertainment venues in the country. We have a lot of exciting work to do: By entering the project at this moment – we are in the design phase and early in the NHL expansion process – there is a platform to build on that will lead to a great outcome for the residents of Seattle. I’m fortunate to join the OVG team and utilize my arena operations experience for the New Arena at Seattle Center," said Mattson in a prepared statement.

OVG's Tim Leiweke added, "Steve is a special talent in our industry and someone who has fostered a track record of excellence and innovation in his work as an operator and in his dealings with the professional sports leagues. His expertise will be critical as we move into the next phase of our work with the City of Seattle in revitalizing the Key Arena and Seattle Center.”

The announcement is just the latest in a dizzying week for the project. Last Monday, the Council approved a $660 million package to demolish KeyArena and build a new arena on the site.

Mayor Jenny Durkan signed it two days later, and then the NHL announced it would accept an expansion application from Seattle and the investment group tied to OVG.