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SEATTLE CENTER NAILS DOWN KEY SPONSORSHIP
Published February 22, 1995
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).