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Seattle Partners, one of two groups aiming to renovate Key Arena, dropped out of the city’s bid process on Sunday.

AEG and Hudson Pacific Properties, representing the Seattle Partners group, pulled their proposal and cited concerns with how the city is conducting the bid process.

“We remain firm in the belief that our proposal best serves the people of Seattle, but, unfortunately, significant factors through the bidding process have eroded our confidence in the ultimate execution of this project, no matter which group is selected,” the group wrote in a letter to the mayor and city council.

Oak View Group is the other group that submitted a proposal and has “appeared to be the favorite in the process,” reported The Associated Press. A decision is expected from the city later this month.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray had previously said the city was not interested in Key Arena as an NBA/NHL arena site, but that later changed, and the city issued a request for proposals this past January to redevelop the arena.

Here’s a statement from Murray:

“We appreciate Seattle Partners’ interest in investing in KeyArena and our ongoing partnership with AEG on major events, such as Bumbershoot. Over the last few months, the City and the Community Advisory Panel have undertaken a careful review of the two proposals to redevelop KeyArena into a world class entertainment facility that will bring the NHL to Seattle and the Sonics back home.

“There are strengths and weaknesses in each proposal and the City fully expects a robust negotiation upon choosing a preferred alternative, to ensure the final plan meets the needs of the surrounding neighborhoods, the city, Seattle Center and those who will use the building for years to come.

“It is unfortunate Seattle Partners chose to pull their proposal. As recently as May 19th, Seattle Partners stated in a mass email: ‘We applaud the City for executing a thoughtful public process. Engaging with teams from the City and the public has strengthened our proposal and crystalized our approach.’ We hope to continue our current relationship with AEG and look forward to addressing our path forward on KeyArena, as well as our commitment to engage the community, in the coming days.”

The Key Arena proposals competed with each other, but they are also competing with another location entirely. The city is still evaluating a proposal from Chris Hansen to build a new arena south of downtown near Seattle’s other major arenas, CenturyLink Field and Safeco Field.

You can hear from Oak View CEO Tim Leiweke at the upcoming GeekWire Sports Tech Summit. He’s one of many speakers like Seattle Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto; NFL COO Tod Leiweke; League of Legends founder Brandon Beck; WNBA legend Sue Bird; Bleacher Report CEO Dave Finocchio; and others who will talk about the future of sports technology.

Before starting Oak View Group in 2015, Leiweke spent 18 years leading AEG, and then two years as CEO of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment. The longtime sports executive will discuss how stadiums are changing to create more immersive fan experiences.

Buy your tickets to the Sports Tech Summit here:


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