At a press conference this afternoon, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and King County Executive Dow Constantine unveiled a proposal to build a $500 million sports arena south of Safeco Field, in the SODO neighborhood. (Or, to be accurate, they seemed to unveil a proposal to study a proposal to build an arena ...)
|King County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn at press conference announcing new Seattle arena proposal.|
If that happens, volleyball will be part of the story.
NHL and NBA teams each play 41 regular-season home games over six months. On average, that means each team uses its home arena seven times per month; or a combined 14 dates per month. With setup/conversion time, arenas that share basketball and hockey rarely have available dates for other events between October and April (or beyond, depending on the playoffs.)
Key Arena will host the NCAA Division 1 Volleyball Final Four December 19-21, 2013. Historically, Final Fours have included at least two days of practice in the hosting arena before the semifinals, and sometimes include events the day after the championship. That could absorb as much as six days of the Key Arena calendar in 2013.
In the long run, a new arena could be a powerful draw for future Final Fours. Its proximity to the CenturyLink Events Center would be a big plus for the annual American Volleyball Coaches Association Conference. And it could conceivably be a venue for international matchups: the 1985 USA vs. USSR men's showdown at the Kingdome drew more than 14,000 fans, a record (since broken) for a volleyball crowd on American Soil.