The Seattle Center Arena (C): Bringing the NHL to Seattle
On December 5, 2018 The Oak View Group (OVG) broke ground on the Seattle Center Arena (SCA) project. The cost of the project was not insignificant—and it continued to rise. Originally projected to cost $564 million, at groundbreaking the price tag stood at $850 million.
Seattle sports fans were thrilled with the project. The city of Seattle had been without a winter sports team since 2008 when the Seattle SuperSonics, a National Basketball Association (NBA) franchise, left the city for Oklahoma. The SCA would be home to a new National Hockey League (NHL) franchise, and the hope was that, sooner rather than later, the NBA would return to Seattle.
Tim Leiweke, cofounder and CEO of OVG, was ultimately responsible for the success of the project. A sports industry veteran with experience building sports facilities and developing event and sponsorship revenue for sports facilities, Leiweke believed music and live entertainment were critical to making the finances work. Leiweke would need to walk a fine line between promoting the SCA as venue for music and live entertainment, while at the same time, maintaining the trust and support of Seattle’s sports fans.
- How to identify the path forward when dealing with a variety of stakeholders with competing agendas.
- Identify the stakeholders.
- Identify how to negotiate with multiple stakeholders