Seattle Storm President & CEO Karen Bryant recently put together a letter to fans about what the planned new NBA and NHL arena would mean for the Seattle Storm.
The Storm have posted that letter along with a 9-question FAQ at StormBasketball.com, which includes a bulleted list of pros and cons.
- Being in a new building alongside a new NBA franchise would bring excitement to the whole sport of basketball in the Northwest. We've been there before so we know first-hand how positive it can be.
- A new arena would allow for enhancements to the overall game-day experience.
- A great deal of a franchise's financial stability is linked to its lease. Revenue growth opportunities at a new arena would help ensure the stability of the Storm well into the future. But a new arena will likely result in higher costs too. There are multiple ways to get to a favorable lease for the Storm, but any deal we sign has to pencil out and allow for long-term growth and stability.
- Another potential issue is prioritization of scheduling. The new arena's management team will likely work to fill out the annual calendar around the NBA and NHL with concerts and other events. It's critical that we preserve a priority position in terms of dates in order to optimize revenues and audience development.
While that FAQ is Storm focused, one might have two other less immediate questions as well.
- Could a new arena make Seattle a more attractive spot for a WNBA All-Star game?
- The Pac-12 and the Storm announced back in March that its women's basketball conference tournament will be held at KeyArena from 2013-2015. If it's successful in Seattle at KeyArena, would there be a way to work out scheduling around the NBA and NHL to hold it at the new arena? Possibly complicated, but maybe something to keep in mind down the road as an asset to women's basketball in the city.
In any event, the most important issue to the Storm appears to be preferable lease terms, as described by the final two points above and reiterated a few times in the letter and FAQ.
It will be interesting for Seattle-area women's basketball fans to watch the development of the arena talks as it could have an impact on the already vibrant women's basketball community in the Northwest.