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SEATTLE CENTER NAILS DOWN KEY SPONSORSHIP

     City officials in Seattle announced they have reached
agreement with Key Bank of Washington to become title sponsor of
the Seattle Center Coliseum.  The facility, which is home of the
SuperSonics, is currently undergoing a $74M renovation to be
completed in October.  It will be called The Key Arena at Seattle
Center.  The Cleveland-based bank agreed to "pay the city $15M
over 15 years," starting with a payment of $750,000 and growing
by 4% in each subsequent year of the deal.  Key Bank will also
display its name on the four-sided rooftop-structure, above the
east and west entrances, and on the basketball court and ice
surface.  Seattle Mayor Norm Rice said the deal will help the
city renovate without tax dollars and that the Key Arena will be
the "first publicly financed arena in the nation fully supported
by earned income from the building."  After renovation, the
facility will seat more than 17,000, with 58 luxury suites and
1,000 club seats (Alex Tizon, SEATTLE TIMES, 2/21).  The
partnership with Key also "greatly diminishes, if not wipes out,"
Seafirst Bank's more than 20-year affiliation as a major Sonics'
sponsor.  Besides the Sonics, the arena will be the home of the
WHL Thunderbirds and the CISL Seadogs (Tacoma NEWS TRIBUNE,
2/22).
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