What could the future hold for Key Arena?


Photo: Erika Schultz / The Seattle Times

Last week was a busy one for potential Seattle NBA/NHL arenas. After Chris Hansen stated that he’ll pay for a $500M+ new Sodo arena with private funding, Mayor Ed Murray told The Seattle Times that LA-based Oak View Group has expressed interest in Key Arena. In addition, Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), an arena builder and manager for Key Arena marketing, appears open to a renovation of the Key.

Mayor Murray announced that the City will issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) in January. The RFP process opens up Key Arena renovations to private parties.

He also acknowledged the impact to Uptown:

“We continue to listen to options to redevelop KeyArena as part of our revitalization of Seattle Center. There are many challenges to consider, including how to address traffic in the growing Uptown neighborhood, and any viable plan will include efforts to mitigate these concerns, while also bringing Seattle tremendous cultural and financial benefit. But, I remain committed to building a state-of-the-art arena in Seattle, and this effort means multiple entities could be working to make that a reality. I also remain committed to bringing the NBA back to Seattle.”

While traffic woes would certainly increase with a revamped arena, the positive impact to Queen Anne and Uptown businesses would be significant. When we lost the Sonics, local restaurants and bars lost business – and some had to close down.

You can read the latest on Hansen’s proposed Sodo arena and the possible renovation of Key Arena in this Seattle Times article.

Epic Stairway Run makes its way through Queen Anne this Saturday

Galer Stairway WestThe Seattle Stairway Walks people are getting ready for what they’re calling an “Epic Seattle Solstice Stairway Run” – and, it really is pretty epic.

The 16 hour run starts this Saturday, June 21, in West Seattle at the crack of dawn (5:12am) and works its way to Queen Anne, where the run will end at sundown (9:12pm) at the top of Galer St.

Organizer and Queen Anne resident Michael Yadrick found inspiration in urban stairway treks in other cities such as Los Angeles. The all-day run celebrates the Solstice with 63 miles, 80 stairways, and an elevation gain of 11,500 feet. The list of stairs was created by Doug Beyerlein of publicstairs.com. He’s been working for years to highlight public stairways in Seattle and other cities, and Yadrick credits him with identifying key stairways on the run.

The day-long route is not for the couch potato, but runners of all levels are welcome to join in for all or part of the route. The overall run will be at an ultra pace, 16 hours of running at about a 15:30/mile pace.

Since the run wraps up on top of Queen Anne, you can plan to join anywhere along the route or just cheer the runners on! Here’s the info on the Queen Anne section of the run:

6th Section: Queen Anne! Mile 57 to 63, 15 stairways, 1,533 ft gain and 1,143 ft loss. Estimated start time of the Queen Anne Section at Dravus & 15th at 7:45 PM. Notable sights and landmarks along the way: Queen Anne Greenways, Kinnear Park, Kerry Park, Lake Union, Westlake Stairclimb (4 consecutive stairways, and the biggest and best for last at 536 steps): Sunset.

Here’s the Queen Anne section map (click for a larger view):

QA Stairway Run

If you’re interested in doing the whole Solstice Stairway Run or just joining part of the route, check out their Facebook page. You can post any questions on the page or contact the organizer via email.  Photos will be posted on the Facebook page during the run next Saturday, so Queen Anne stairways are sure to make an appearance!

Registration for QuickStart Tennis program open now

The QuickStart Tennis program for kids ages 7-10 is open now for registration. The classes are run through Seattle Parks and Recreation and the Queen Anne Community Center and are taught at the David Rogers Park tennis courts.

The summer program is for beginners ages 7-10 years – smaller rackets and low pressure/foam balls are used on smaller courts designed for younger players. Kids learn via fun drills and games. The program runs from June 23rd though August 13th with practices held Mondays and Wednesdays from 6-7pm for 7-8 year olds and 7-8pm for 9-10 year olds.

Starting in July the kids will get to play in local matches against other community center teams. The program costs $35 per player and all equipment is provided.

If you’d like to sign up your future phenoms, contact the QACC 206-386-4240 or stop by to sign up directly. (There is no online registration available.) You can also contact Jeannie Shek via email or at 206-684-4764 if you have any questions or to register.

Cheer on the Seahawks at Seattle Center rally Wednesday

Heads up – in anticipation of the Superbowl, everyone is invited to the Seahawks rally tomorrow at the Seattle Center, plus, free Monorail rides for those wearing Seahawks gear:

Seahawks fans are invited to participate in a rally and celebration of the team’s participation in Super Bowl XLVIII on Wednesday, January 29 at Fisher Pavilion and South Fountain Lawn at Seattle Center.

Mayor Ed Murray, members of the Sea Gals, Blue Thunder, Blitz and Seahawks alumni will appear in addition to a live performance by the top 40 cover band, Curb Appeal.

Seahawks Alumni to be in attendance inlclude Paul Johns Norm Johnson, Robbie Tobeck, and Alex Bannister.

A live online video stream of the rally will be available at http://shwks.com/live

Immediately following the rally, the Space Needle is calling all Seahawks fans to participate in the “From the Needle to New Jersey” flag signing and relay.

The 25′ x 35′ flag, flown atop the Space Needle for every playoff run that the team has made in recent years, will be put on display for all Seahawks fans to sign their well wishes to the team from 12:30-3:30 p.m.

Seattle Center will provide free round trip transportation on Seattle Center Monorail from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. for all fans wearing Seahawks apparel.

Go Hawks!

Cheer on the Queen Anne Little League team as they advance closer to the Championship

QALL logoThanks to a tip from a reader, I was clued in to how well our local Queen Anne Little League team is doing this year – they are just one game away from advancing to the State Championship! And, they’re the first team in QALL history to make it this far, so while the next game is in Vancouver, WA tomorrow (Saturday), be sure to cheer them on virtually!

You can check out the Tournament bracket online to check the status of our local team. If they win Saturday’s game, the team will advance to play the winners of Idaho, Orgeon, Alaska, Wyoming, and Montana in San Bernadino, California. And, if they win against these competitors, they’ll go to Williamsport, PA for the World Series, representing the Northwest.

The team is made up of local 12 year olds coached by Shawn Canty, Scott Cooper, and Joe Furia, and managed by Randy Storm. The photo shows the QALL 12s AllStars team just after winning the District 8 tournament. It’s the first time in 40+ years since QALL represented the District in the State Tournament.

QALL 12s
Trey Boyd
Corbin Carroll
Tyler Collings
Christian Collins
Sam Cooper
Ian Crocker
Peter Furia
Conor Lamb
William Mulfur-White
Kohl Petersen
Keanu Romero
Dolan Shaffer
Will Stroupe

The winner of Saturday’s game moves into the Championship game on Sunday for the State Title, so wish them luck and cheer them on!

Celebrate the Seattle Storm’s opening night with a tailgate party

Seattle Storm TailgateThis Sunday, June 2 is opening night for the Seattle Storm, as they kick off home-court play against the Phoenix Mercury at Key Arena. To help usher in the season opener, Bayview Retirement Community has partnered with the team to celebrate with a tailgate party.

Join in the fun at Bayview (11 W Aloha) at 4pm – for $25 per person, you get to attend the tailgate party, park for free at Bayview, and watch the game from reserved seating at the Key. (tip off at 6pm)

To purchase tickets, or for more information, please contact Jennifer Ahrens via email.

Sign up now for kids’ QuickStart Tennis program at Rogers Park

Registration is open now for QuickStart Tennis, a tennis program for kids ages 7-10 offered through the Seattle Parks and Recreation Department. Designed for beginners with little to no experience, the 8-week program is held at the Rogers Park outdoor tennis courts.

Tennis 7-8 Years

2012 QuickStart Tennis Program

The beginner focus for QuickStart Tennis includes playing on a smaller court, using smaller rackets, low pressure and foam balls, and fun games and drills.

The program runs from June 24th through August 14th, with practices held twice a week. (Monday and Wednesday from 6-7pm for 7-8 year olds; 7-8pm for 9-10 year olds). The kids also get to participate in matches against other sites beginning in July.

The $35 program fee per kid includes all equipment, and the deadline to register is July 1st. You can sign your kids up at the Queen Anne Community Center in person, at 206-386-4240, or online via a SPARC account.

For any additional information or questions contact Jeannie Shek via email or at 206.684.4764.

Interbay Eagles football and cheerleading registration open now

Do you have future football players or cheerleaders in your home? Registration is open now for kids that want to play with or root for the Interbay Eagles.

Kids 6-14 can join one of five football teams, and kids 6-11 can join the cheer squad. The recruiting zone for the Interbay Eagles is broad, ranging from the Ship Canal south to Yesler and from Lake Washington to Puget Sound. All Queen Anne kids are welcome to join in!

Interbay FieldFootball practice begins in August, five days a week through the end of the month, then going to three days a week during the school year, prepping for Saturday game-days. Practices are held at Interbay Field, across from QFC and just off Dravus.

There are six regular season football games on Saturdays, with the first game set for September 7th, followed by the play-offs and ending the season with a championship game.

Program registration fees are $160 for Football and $150 for Cheer. You can register online or call 206.494.0268 for more information.

Catch the SPU Gymnastics team in action tonight as they host the MPSF Conference Championships

At 6pm tonight, the Mountain Pacific Sports Foundation (MPSF) Conference Championships kick off at Seattle Pacific University (SPU). The SPU Falcons women’s gymnastics team will be competing with UC Davis, the Air Force Academy, and the University of Alaska Anchorage for the MPSF title.

Seattle Pacific University
Falcons Gymnastics Team

The action takes place at SPU’s Royal Brougham Pavilion at the corner of 3rd Ave W and W Nickerson.

If you like gymnastics or have future gymnasts in your household, this event is sure to please – and it’s easy on the wallet too, with $8 Adult admission and $5 students/senior admission. Get a group of 15 or more together, and it’s just $3 apiece.

Falcon Senior Corrine Wise

How does the SPU team stack up? Four different Falcons had event wins in meets this year: Shannon Escarra, Stephanie Wagner, Corrine Wise and Kenley Memmel; and SPU has three 38-point all-arounders (Sydney Clark, Shannon Escarra, Stephanie Wagner) for the first season since 2007. Two Falcons got All-America acclaim at the 2012 USAG championships, with Stephanie Wagner tying for fifth on the beam at Nationals.

Just last weekend at UW, the Falcons racked up their year’s top score in the final regular-season schedule – the team’s 193.150 points tied for the sixth-highest in school history. The 5th ranked USAG team is ready for tonight’s challenge – check it out and cheer them on!

Gates Foundation Visitor Center celebrates soccer on Saturday with a free family event

Do you have youngsters with a passion for all things soccer and/or the Sounders? If so, check out the free “Kick it Forward” Family Day hosted at the Gates Foundation Visitor Center this Saturday, March 23rd. The event celebrates the positive impact of soccer both locally and globally from 10am to 3pm, and admission is free!

It’s an all-ages event with plenty of activities that’ll bring together families, professional athletes and local soccer organizations to demonstrate how the sport encourages community engagement worldwide. According to the Gates Foundation, soccer “has become a catalyst for community and global development work including nutrition, HIV/AIDS education, malaria prevention, polio eradication, homelessness, literacy and youth leadership through the collaboration of nonprofits, businesses and professional leagues across the globe.”

In addition to guest appearances by former Seattle Sounders players Taylor Graham and Roger Levesque, local organizations such as Street Soccer Seattle, America Scores Seattle, and SOCCKET ball by Uncharted Play will be on hand to spread the word about soccer.

According to Charlotte Beall, Visitor Center Operations Manager:

“We are thrilled to celebrate the sport of soccer and spotlight the catalytic role athletes play in empowering youth in our region and around the world. Soccer is truly the world’s game and we are excited to invite local families to our next Family Day with fun and inspiring activities to highlight the importance of civic engagement.”

On Saturday, families can participate in activities that include: making soccer balls from recycled materials, learning how kicking a ball can generate electricity, and a story-time showing how soccer brings joy to kids around the world. Visitors can also play a pickup street soccer game and watch Homeless World Cup players demonstrate their skills on a temporary field set up outside the Visitor Center. Everyone is invited to this free family event!