The Seattle Storm of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) have secured a new ten-year lease at their KeyArena home.
The Seattle City Council voted unanimously on Tuesday to extend the team’s lease, ensuring the Storm will continue to play all of their home games at KeyArena until at least December 2028.
“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,” said Storm president and general manager Alisha Valavanis.
“In our case, those partnerships with KeyArena and the City of Seattle were formed at our franchise inception in 2000 and have been an integral part of our success every day since. Today confirms this yet again and for that we are deeply grateful. We are honoured and energised by this incredible support.”
Lease negotiations began over a year ago, the Storm said. According to The Seattle Times, the new agreement includes a provision that would see the club paid up to US$2.6 million per season should they be forced to relocate during a possible renovation of KeyArena.
Additionally, the city of Seattle will also pay the team US$100,000 each year to compensate for any loss of sponsorship or advertising deals resulting from the renovation.
Two proposals to renovate KeyArena - one from Oak View Group and another from AEG-led Seattle Partners - are currently being considered by city authorities. A separate project that would see a new venue constructed in Seattle’s Sodo District has also been put forward by entrepreneur Chris Hansen.
“The Storm has been a fixture in the WNBA since 2000, bringing two championships and world-class entertainment to Seattle over nearly two decades,” said Seattle mayor Ed Murray.
“With today’s announcement, the Storm will continue to play in front of great fans and in the heart of the city.”
KeyArena is due to host the Verizon WNBA All-Star Game this coming July, marking the first time the event has been held in Seattle.