Arena proponents, neighboring teams reach scheduling and access agreement
The Council received language today from representatives of ArenaCo, the Seattle Seahawks/First & Goal, Inc., and the Seattle Mariners that places conditions on the scheduling of events if a new arena is built in Sodo. At the Council’s request, the parties came together to draft the mutually agreeable language regarding scheduling and access.
“At the Council’s urging, the key stakeholders came together and I think discovered they had many common interests when it comes to scheduling and access,” said Councilmember Tim Burgess. “Now we know for certain that if a new arena is built we can avoid the scheduling and access conflicts that have been discussed for so long.”
“We have to recognize that fans arrive early, fans leave early, and nobody wins in traffic congestion,” said Council President Bruce Harrell. “I am pleased that an agreement that balances our traffic and safety needs and the fan experience has been reached.”
The language covers any Arena “Major Event” that attracts more than 5,000 attendees. It places the following conditions on scheduling at the Arena:
- With very limited exceptions, no Major Event at the arena can start between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. on a Weekday.
- No Major Event at the arena can overlap with Major Events at each of the two other stadia if the combined anticipated attendance at all venues would exceed 45,000 on a Weekday or 55,0000 on a Weekend.
- For NBA regular season games, the Arena will make its best efforts to work with the NBA to avoid overlapping with Mariners and Sounders home games or other Major Events at CenturyLink Field. If there are unavoidable overlaps, the NBA game will start at least one hour after the other event. Exceptions can be made for NBA playoff games.
- Major Events other than NBA games at the Arena cannot be scheduled to overlap with a Major Event at either of the stadia if the combined anticipated attendance at the two events would exceed 45,000 on a Weekday or 55,0000 on a Weekend.
- For events that occur on the same day but do not overlap, there will be at least 3 hours between the projected end time of the first event and scheduled start of the second event.
The negotiated scheduling language will be offered as an amendment to the conditions of the street vacation requested by ArenaCo.
“Despite ongoing differences about a preferred location for an NBA/NHL arena, our professional sports teams have set aside their differences and worked collaboratively on how to address scheduling conflicts,” said Councilmember Mike O’Brien. “The result is an agreement that required compromises from all parties but will work for each team. I appreciate all parties work to resolve this conflict.”
“I’m excited that we’ve found a solution to the scheduling concerns,” said Councilmember Rob Johnson. “This agreement shows that with cooperation and planning, we can maximize mobility for all users – drivers, transit riders, trucks and fans – and bring the NBA and NHL to Seattle.”
The representatives of the teams also agreed to two other amendments. The first would require an access easement on the proposed arena site’s east access road for the benefit of the other two facilities. The second ensures that ArenaCo will not seek to completely close S. Massachusetts Street during construction or operation of the arena, if built.
All three amendments will be considered by the Full Council on Monday, May 2.