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Opening date for New Arena at Seattle Center pushed to Summer 2021

The timeline for the New Arena at Seattle Center has been pushed back to summer of 2021.

The New Arena at Seattle Center will cost between $900 to $930 million to complete, according to an announcement by NHL Seattle on Thursday. 

NHL Seattle CEO Tod Leiweke said the cost has gone up on the privately financed building, and the construction timeline has "slipped" to summer of 2021.

The two announcements were part of a media tour of the existing KeyArena footprint.  Most of the identifying features of the old building are gone, now reduced to a concrete bowl. The roof remains, as does the glass of the old exterior, which has been removed piece-by-piece to be preserved.

The 800,000-square-foot project, which will replace the old arena, guts the existing building. Crews will then excavate another 15 feet, to make the project subterranean in scope.

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Given the complexity and the addition of new touches to suites and other design changes, Leiweke said the pricetag has gone up. That's being absorbed by the OVG and NHL Seattle investors. Construction costs in Seattle have also skyrocketed in recent years, because of the demand for labor and materials.

Leiweke told reporters he hopes the building can be completed in "early summer" and still hopes to be make a bid to host the Seattle team's expansion draft and the 2021 NHL Draft.  He said the group has been in contact with the WNBA's Seattle Storm, who will share the facility.  It's unclear what the delay could mean for that franchise's planned kickoff in the New Arena at Seattle Center.

He said there is still no news about a franchise name, or the naming rights on New Arena.

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