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Mayor Disregards Private Sponsorship of KeyArena

M.T Phoenix LLC, a New Mexico-based real-estate company, has expressed interest in modernizing and funding renovations to Seattle’s KeyArena, the former home of the Seattle Supersonics.

The estimated cost of these renovations is $285 million and would be done so that the facility could host NHL and NBA teams.

The Seattle Center Coliseum, better known as the KeyArena, was built in 1962. The facility was renovated once in 1995 before the team was relocated to Oklahoma City in 2008.

According to The Seattle Times, vice president of M.T Phoenix, Christopher Brozovich wrote a letter to the mayor of Seattle expressing interest in renovating the facility on July 20th. Brozovich states in the letter “Our first stance, at a glance, is that we collectively would be very excited to be involved with the revitalization of the KeyArena to bring it back to its original glory.” The letter also states that his company reviewed a new report on KeyArena's Viability and believed the building could be renovated at its existing size.

He is still awaiting a response from the city, but in a recent interview Brozovich said M.T. Phoenix is “still interested in the project’’ and would explore financing the entire $285 million dollar project.

Brozovich has tried -- unsuccessfully -- to reach Chris Gregorich, the mayor’s former chief of staff and lead representative on NHL issues. Brozovich wonders why the city didn’t respond to his letter when his group has “the full amount” and is willing to spend it if it proves to be a wise investment.

“I didn’t chase it that far,” Brozovich said. “I’ve got so many other projects that we’re considering, I don’t have time to go after something that doesn’t seem like it’s really willing to move forward.’’

This letter is first indication of private enterprise willing to fund the full cost of overhauling the venue. This interest could also ignite debate on whether the city should look at KeyArena instead of a new Sodo District arena proposed by entrepreneur Chris Hansen.

Brozovich said M.T. Phoenix doesn’t want to undermine the city’s agreement with Hansen. His company has even reached out to Hansen and offered to help complete the Sodo project, but got no reply.

Brozovich said his company remains interested in the KeyArena renovation.

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