City Council approves 10-year lease extension for Storm at KeyArena

The extension keeps the team at KeyArena through 2028 and also has a provision that would pay the club up to $2.6 million per season if a KeyArena renovation forces it to play elsewhere.

A 10-year lease extension has been approved for the Storm that keeps the WNBA team at KeyArena through 2028 and protects the squad if it has to relocate because of a major NBA/NHL renovation of the facility.

Seattle City Council on Tuesday ratified the new deal by a 7-0 vote. It calls for the Storm to play at KeyArena through Dec. 31, 2028, and provides them up to $2.6 million per season in the event a KeyArena renovation forces the team to play elsewhere.

“We talk at great lengths about the impact and role of the Seattle Storm fans on our franchise success, but in addition to an incredible team, staff and fan base; it takes a robust and reliable partnership with the city you play for and the arena you play in,” Storm President and GM Alisha Valavanis said in a release.

In addition to any relocation money, the city will also pay the team $100,000 annually to compensate for the loss of any long-term sponsorship or advertising deals due to uncertainty over whether KeyArena is to soon undergo a major renovation.

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The Storm’s ownership insists it remains open to playing at a new venue pitched in Sodo District by entrepreneur Chris Hansen if that facility is chosen to become Seattle’s major sports arena. For now, Mayor Ed Murray is to decide within the next two weeks which of two KeyArena renovation proposals to forward to the council for consideration.

Both the Oak View Group and Seattle Partners have submitted proposals for more than a half-billion dollars apiece. The city council is expected by fall to pick either a to-be-renovated KeyArena as the major arena site, or approve Hansen’s project to move…

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