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Another sign Seattle arena becoming real — early designs released

Nov 30, 2012, 9:37 PM EST

Seattle skyline

They are getting closer to having an arena in Seattle.

In the end, they are going to need an NBA (and maybe NHL) team in hand to start building and make the numbers work, but you still keep seeing the steps of development to ready them for that day.

The latest step was the release of preliminary designs, reports the Associated Press.

Three different designs for the exterior were revealed, including a preferred option consisting of a rectangular building with the look of a cruise-ship on the top and a large public plaza. The design firm Hansen is using on the project, 360 Architecture, writes that the preferred option emphasizes the “front-door” toward downtown Seattle and maximizes the footprint of the arena site, but may lack an “iconic presence.”

Another option features an extreme oval shape encased in a glass exterior that gives a 360-degree view of the area surrounding the arena. The last option is a rectangular building with a roof line that looks like flowing waves.

The deal is not totally done in Seattle — sides have agreed to financing to make the $490 million project work ($290 million of that is private), but there is still the environmental review and other approvals needed.

Plus they need a team. Even David Stern was optimistic that could happen last time he spoke on the issue, but that almost certainly is a team that moves and is not an expansion squad. I don’t want to get into where a team for Seattle might come from, mostly because I like the fine people of Sacramento and think their owners are screwing them over.

But the march to an arena and eventual return of the NBA to Seattle continues.

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