For the first time since the 2007-2008 season, the NBA will host a game in the city of Seattle.
The league announced its preseason schedule Monday, and on October 5, the Golden State Warriors will take on the Sacramento Kings at Seattle’s KeyArena, becoming the first NBA teams to play there since the Seattle Sonics became the Oklahoma City Thunder in the 2008 offseason.
The game will constitute a homecoming of sorts for Warriors forward Kevin Durant, who played his rookie season in Seattle. Back in February, when the idea to play a preseason game in Seattle first surfaced, Durant voiced his support.
“That would be amazing, hopefully that goes through,” Durant told the San Francisco Chronicle. “I mean, the fans of Seattle definitely deserve basketball and that would be amazing. So, I’m looking forward to that.”
Seattle is considered a frontrunner to land the NBA’s next available franchise.
KeyArena to undergo NBA- and NHL-friendly renovations in late 2018
In December 2017, the Seattle City Council approved a proposal for a $600 million renovation project on KeyArena (which is now up to $700 million), to better optimize it to host a new NHL or NBA team. The project is scheduled to take two years.
The plans entail turning the arena in a “top third” revenue-producer for the NHL and NBA both, according to the Seattle Times.
“The brilliance of this building and what they’ve designed is that … if you’re the NBA, and you want to move to Seattle at some point or another in the future, you do not have to spend a billion dollars on a new arena,’’ said Tim Leiweke, CEO of Oak View Group, one of the project’s funders. “You walk into an arena and maximize your revenue streams as if you were moving into your own arena, without spending a billion dollars.’’
Leiweke has also repeatedly said that he’s not trying to but the cart before the horse in terms of the NBA’s decision to expand to Seattle, but rather, just wants to be ready should the time come. The renovation plans would expand spectator capacity to 17,400 for NHL and 18,600 for NBA games.
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