Seattle’s KeyArena Construction Behind Schedule, Team Name Selection Also Pushed Back

Photo: AP

NHL Seattle CEO Tod Leiweke said on Tuesday that the KeyArena reopening is being delayed at least two months, to late summer of 2021, due to coronavirus-related slowdowns. The original opening date of June 1, 2021 will not be met, but KeyArena will be ready for the team’s first game in October, 2021.

“It will certainly be the summer of 2021 — the question is when,” Leiweke said. “Will it be August? Will it be Sept. 1? Will it be Sept. 15? It’s somewhere in there.”

There have been problems with suppliers and our work has also slowed down due to the health situation. It will not be exactly on schedule, but not much later than the set date, “said Seattle CEO Tod Leiweke on Tuesday.

According to the Seattle Times, there’s no chance now of Seattle hosting next June’s NHL draft and expansion draft.

Leiweke said plans to announce a team name have been put off indefinitely and might not happen until fall as work continues on “a myriad of issues” related to trademarking. The team has begun initial design work on logos and uniforms for a variety of potential names.

“If you do just one (name), then you’ve left yourself hostage to any sort of challenge,” he said, adding that every name of the thousand or so suggested by fans the past two years had some sort of trademark issue that needed working through. “So we’ve had to do multiple (trade)marks, and that’s about where we are.”

“It’s not the right time,” Leiweke said, adding the team could wait until October. “Vegas did it a year out. We’ve got ample time, and the thing this organization will never be is tone deaf. So we’ve got to pick the right time, and we’ve got to make sure all of our ducks are in a row.”

By Jon Sorensen

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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