Here are some of the main features of the arena:
1. Lower level suites less than 10 rows from the ground or ice – Businesses or very wealthy people who buy suites often throw big parties for their guests, but often sit several rows away from the action. In the new arena, they will have a much better view. At the same time, the sequels will also be just far enough away from the action to avoid an âunsightly gap in camera viewâ when the games are on TV.
2. Seating Bowl is closer to the fans than competing arenas – The seats in the lower bowl are considerably stiffer than in other NBA arenas, so all the seats are relatively closer to the action. Visual comparisons with Amway Center in Orlando, Barclays Center in Brooklyn, and Staples Center in LA show this, but no actual dimensions are shown.
3. The “sonic rings” – These are three stacked balconies that have a total of over 2,000 seats, but also contain standing areas and can be moved up or down. The balconies also help shorten the upper bowl seats to minimize “nosebleed seats of sorts”. these areas of the stadium.
All of these amenities will be enjoyable for the fans, but for the purposes of this site, what does it mean for the Seattle Storm if they move to the new facility?
First off, I think if they do, there’s a good chance the arena will still have an intimate feel, much like KeyArena. This will in any case help their advantage on the pitch. Second, Seattle has never hosted a WNBA All-Star Game, and having that game at this facility might be a good thing for fans, especially since the squad has Lauren Jackson and Sue Bird, who are multiple times. of All-Star players, but have never had to play this game in front of their fans. As for the âSonic Rings,â given that the WNBA teams don’t put 20,000 fans in the stands every game, I don’t think they would be of much use to them.
However, most of the issues the Storm might face with the facility are primarily about how the WNBA team fits into the plans for the new arena as a tenant. First, planning is a concern. If the Sonics did qualify for the NBA Western Conference Finals and Finals at some point, could that force the Storm out of the arena and into a lower class facility during games? regular season? Also, when the Storm qualifies for the playoffs, will other planned events, like a circus or a concert, do the same?
This has happened to them on a regular basis at other WNBA teams and the Storm now faces this risk as well. It’s a little odd that at least some WNBA teams have regular season lineup arrangements, but no playoff dates are allotted, although those teams should be pretty good. Finally, with a WNBA All Star auction possibility, no smaller ownership group has ever hosted the game (Connecticut has several times, but a large casino owns the team), and a possible reason may be that they may not have enough assets for a competitive bid although they may be able to own a team. Perhaps partnering with Hansen’s group and moving to the new arena could help the Storm host the All-Star Game sooner rather than later.
Second, even in addition to lineup or an All-Star Game offering, will the Storm have facilities like an NBA-sized locker room that they could own despite the WNBA season being? so short? Most locker rooms for WNBA teams in existing NBA arenas are not at the same level as those for NBA teams. In fact, it’s not uncommon for the best facilities in women’s basketball to be found at the college level rather than the pros.
Obviously, if the NBA Board of Governors canceled the Kings sale to Chris Hansen and Steve Ballmer in April, it would likely keep the team in Sacramento and the content of that piece is questionable., at least until Seattle hypothetically gets an expansion franchise. However, for the Storm, whether the Kings move to Seattle this fall or not, these questions are likely the ones that would be of significant importance to the property as well as to the squad’s players whenever such a move occurs. .
UPDATE March 14, 2013 at 5:20 pm: Hansen has published some diagrams of the arena for hockey, which can be seen here.