The Seattle expansion franchise is on track to start play at the beginning of the 2021-22 season, and work has already begun to create a new state-of-the-art arena. The Oak View Group who were awarded the expansion club will demolish the old standing KeyArena and build a new rink while maintaining the old roof. All these plans are laid out in a new video released today that gives fans a first look at the early demolition work. At the very end, it also shows a rendering of what the arena might look like when completed—notably swathed in red.
Originally scheduled to enter the league in 2020-21, the Seattle timeline was pushed back to make sure the arena was fully functional and ready for the start of the season. It was approved as a $660MM renovation, but at the press conference announcing the team OVG officials suggested it may run up to $800MM when all is done. That kind of investment will set up the Seattle team for success, and provide fans with an excellent experience.
Still there are obviously hurdles to clear in order to get things done on time. While the construction continues, Seattle will need to fill out a management group and coaching staff while preparing for the expansion draft in the spring of 2021. The team could very well name a GM this summer, giving them plenty of time to get things ready for an explosive inaugural season.