19th March 21:49
A new Arena? Need Parking revenue?
Wednesday, August 13, 2003 - Page updated at 12:00 A.M.
KeyArena is undergoing a $4.6 million makeover that will make significant
improvements to the 8-year-old building.
The improvements include a new LED signage ring, changes to the scoreboard,
upgraded concession signs and minimal repairs such as fixing chairs and
installing new carpet in the suites.
When the building, formerly known as the Seattle Center Coliseum, underwent
a $74 million renovation in 1995, the city set aside funds for future
refurbishments. Financing was ac***ulated through revenue generated by
KeyArena, said Kym Allen, director of communications for Seattle Center.
Allen said the building's main occupants, the Sonics, the Storm and the
Thunderbirds hockey team, attract nearly a million visitors each year,
forcing the need for improvements.
There's no set timetable or budget for the project, said Valerie O'Neil, the
Sonics' senior director of public relations.
The Sonics, who laid off six employees last week as part of a cost-cutting
move after suffering a second straight season of losses, are looking for
ways to increase revenue at KeyArena. The team's 15-year lease expires in
2010, and officials from the city and the team declined to comment on a
"We're focusing all of our energies on KeyArena and working with the Seattle
Center to improve that building through 2010," O'Neil said. "Beyond that,
we're keeping our options open. It's too early to tell."
The city and the Sonics are also receiving requests from firms interested in
designing future renovations at KeyArena. Firms must submit a statement of
qualification before 3 p.m. Friday.
Copyright © 2003 The Seattle Times Company