More than groundbreaking, arena renovation will be ‘life changing,’ too

SEATTLE  --  The next step in bringing pro-hockey to Seattle is now underway.  Today was the official groundbreaking of the new Key Arena.  We've got just two years to get ready to host a new NHL team.  City officials and sports fans are celebrating and looking ahead to how this will boost our local economy in the process.

Today the Oak View Group and NHL Seattle broke ground just outside the arena, after the National Hockey League’s Board of Governors gave Seattle the green light to become the league’s 32nd franchise.

“A lot of people that thought we’d eventually ask the city to pay for it; we didn’t. A lot of people that didn’t think we could pay for it; we are.  A lot of people that didn’t think we’d get a team; we did.  A lot of people who don’t think we’re interested in the NBA; we are,” says Tim Leiweke.

This massive construction project ahead means good news for our local economy.  Monty Anderson, Executive Director of Seattle Building and Construction Trades, says this is about so much more than sports.  He says it means jobs; local jobs.

“We are going to bring in hundreds and hundreds of local workers for this job.  It’s going to create hundreds of thousands of man hours here.  It’s going to change lives.  It’s going to be a lot of money going through here and it’s great for the community,” says Anderson.

The team still needs a name and the Oak View Group says they are working every day to find one.  They say they want to hear the public’s ideas.  We’d love to hear them as well.

Share your ideas with us on the Q13 News Facebook page.