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.

Geoff Baker

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 forward.

“Today is a great day for basketball fans in Seattle, as the Seattle Storm will call KeyArena home for the next decade,” Murray said in a release.

Notes

• The father of basketball Hall of Famer John Stockton has died. John H. “Jack” Stockton died Saturday at age 89 in Spokane, where he was raised and spent his entire life.

Jack Stockton was a co-founder of Jack and Dan’s tavern, a Spokane institution as a hub for fans of Gonzaga basketball. He sold his share of the bar, located across the street from the Gonzaga campus, in 2006.

The Spokesman-Review reports that the bar was also a gathering place for Utah Jazz fans during John Stockton’s playing days. The elder Stockton attended Gonzaga, where his son starred in college.

• Eight Huskies were named to a Pac-12 baseball all-academic team, including first-team selection John Naff, a senior from Marysville-Pilchuck who has a 3.67 GPA in sociology.

• Everett Silvertips forward Dominic Zwerger has signed a three-year contract…

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