Market and Financial Feasibility Studies


Seattle City Council

David led a team of economists, architects, engineers, cost estimators, and planners on behalf of the Seattle City Council, to provide a comprehensive market and financial feasibility analysis of the future of KeyArena. The arena previously hosted the NBA’s SuperSonics and is now the home of the WNBA Storm, Seattle University, and the Rat City Rollergirls.

In anticipation of a potential new arena to be built in the city's SoDo neighborhood, this study was prepared in order to reorient KeyArena to minimize competition with the SoDo arena. However, upon seeing that the SoDo development was unlikely within the MOU timeframe with a private developer, we also analyzed scenarios in which a new arena is not built. The analysis identified a number of future scenarios for the arena, including continuing operations as a civic arena, renovation as an NBA/NHL arena, reorientation into a smaller sports/entertainment venue, and non-sports reuse options (such as residential or cultural uses). For each option, we evaluated the market for uses, physical needs and associated costs, and demand/operating and financial implications based on forecasts of usage.

The study (unlike previous studies on the facility) identified the physical ability of KeyArena to accommodate NBA and NHL tenants, and based on its results, the City solicited private development proposals and recently selected a team led by the Oak View Group as its potential redevelopment and operating partner.

More recently, the City Council engaged Stone Planning to work as its independent financial consultant, as it successfully negotiated a Memorandum of Understanding with the Oak View Group and its development team for an approximately $600-million redevelopment of the arena.


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