The KeyArena may be getting a new name this year. The Seattle Center announced Friday that it is seeking a new naming rights partner for the event hall, after KeyBank’s contract expired on December 31, 2010. The facility, which hosts concerts, sporting and other events, and is home to the WNBA’s Seattle Storm, has worn the Key’s name for 15 years.
Seattle Center says it is in the midst of discussing naming opportunities with a number of interested parties, but are not yet ready to announce a successor. The facility will keep the name KeyArena until a new naming rights partner is selected.
“KeyBank has been a wonderful partner over the past 15 years, and we hope to continue to explore opportunities with them in the future,” said Seattle Center Director, Robert Nellams in a press release. “There’s very strong interest by local and national companies that recognize this kind of title sponsorship opportunity doesn’t come around often. The 2011 event line-up, capital improvements and the upcoming 50th anniversary of the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair, The Next Fifty, make this naming opportunity very appealing.”
Despite the difficult economic climate, the KeyArena has had quite a year. From Seattle Center:
KeyArena earned the top spot on a 2010 year-end industry list (Venues Today) of the best concert venues in the northwest. It also made it to Pollstar’s worldwide top 50 venues and stadiums list, ranked on ticket sales, for the first time ever. The number of events at KeyArena also saw a significant bump from 2009 – a 26% increase in events and a 40% increase in concerts. By year’s end, gross ticket sales exceeded $17.5 million (not including WNBA Storm and Seattle University Men’s Basketball games).
KeyArena 2011 calendar is already out-pacing last year’s schedule. This year’s lineup will include Seattle University men’s basketball games, the 2010 WNBA Champions Seattle Storm (their season starts on June 4), and the Rat City Rollergirls. Some new events debuting at the KeyArena this year include the Professional Bull Riders, UFC Fight Night 24, at Street League Pro Skateboarding. Touring shows in 2011 will bring Eric Clapton, Katy Perry, Keith Urban, and the Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL World Tour by Cirque du Soleil to the venue.
See the full list of confirmed events at the KeyArena in 2011 here.