Pegula Sports & Entertainment President & CEO Kim Pegula said that KeyBank Center is "undergoing a thorough review" by PS&E officials and that "replacing the facility is no less a consideration than a major renovation," according to Vic Carucci of the BUFFALO NEWS. Pegula said, “Everything’s on the table. I think they did a great job when they built that place (in 1996) and our staff has been really good about maintaining and putting in a lot of cap-ex (capital expenditure) things over the years, but I wouldn't take anything off the table.” The Sabres' KeyBank Center was constructed "during the NHL's building boom" in the mid-'90s. Of the 17 venues built then, "virtually all of them have had major renovations or are about to," and KeyBank Center "has fallen behind." During the Sabres' '17-18 season, there was "considerable social-media buzz over the poor condition of the building, with parts of the building in various states of disrepair." The team's lease with Erie County for KeyBank Center runs through '22 (BUFFALO NEWS, 5/25).
King County (Wash.) council member Dave Upthegrove spoke out "against a proposal" to provide roughly $180M in public funding to "spend on upgrades at Safeco Field," according to Geoff Baker of the SEATTLE TIMES. The proposal announced Wednesday by King County Council Exec Dow Constantine "would come from a 'hotel-motel' lodging tax that previously helped pay for construction of the Kingdome." The lodging tax currently is "paying off the debt for the construction of CenturyLink Field," which is "scheduled to be paid off" by '20. Constantine wants 12% of that tax' revenue "given to the Public Facilities District boards" that manage Safeco Field and other venues. Upthegrove said that is "ridiculous given more pressing priorities within the region." Upthegrove said of the Mariners, "We have to remember this is a private, for profit business. And a large one. It's a billion-dollar company that can afford to and can and should pay for their own expenses." Baker notes internal estimates by King County staffers are that the hotel-motel tax "would generate" between $177-190M for Safeco Field through '43. The Mariners on Wednesday announced a new 25-year lease agreement that will "keep the team at Safeco Field" at least through '43 with a "pair of three-year options beyond that." The team's current lease was "set to expire at the end of this season, and the new pact is not contingent upon the hotel-motel tax revenue" (SEATTLE TIMES, 5/25).