The City of Seattle is close to finalizing transaction documents for the new privately financed $700 million Arena at Seattle Center, as the future tenant appears to be ready to strengthen their bid to bring an NHL team to the city.
On Wednesday, the Oak View Group (OVG) will unveil new local investors for its proposed National Hockey League team. A scheduled press conference is expected to include lead investor David Bonderman.
The announcement comes the same week as city leaders quietly pushed forward key documents in an effort to meet the NHL deadline.
Also see | Contractors named for KeyArena renovation
Last week, without much fanfare, the city's Department of Construction and Inspections published a more than 1,000-page document which including an intensive analysis of the impacts to the Seattle Center, and proposed changes.
The Final EIS, as it is called, is required by law, and can be challenged until September 13, 2018. The next day, the Seattle City Council is scheduled to vote on final transaction documents on the 750,000-square-foot redevelopment. OVG says it will be built with the NHL, NBA, and concerts in mind.
Council member Debora Juarez announced Tuesday that the final vote of the full council is now scheduled for Monday, September 24.
The timing is important, and not without coordination.
The NHL confirmed the Seattle group plans on making its pitch to bring the league to the city the following week, on October 2. That's when the league's Executive Committee, and Board of Governors, are slated to hear the presentation.
It's unclear if the league could vote to approve the $650 million expansion franchise bid out of committee on that day, or with a full Board of Governors vote.
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan is scheduled to make her pitch to the NHL owners personally. Late last week Mayor Durkan's office transmitted the final transaction documents to the Council for approval.
OVG and the group led by Bonderman have said they can deliver a new arena and team to Seattle by the fall of 2020, making the window extremely tight.
The city already announced the last scheduled event at KeyArena, barring any surprises, will be on October 5 when the NBA's Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings face off at the place the Sonics once called home.
Seattle Center Arena renovation project documents: