NBA in Seattle
5:38 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

Hansen: Arena will have balconies, court-side suites

Chris Hansen and his group of investors have released preliminary design renderings of Seattle’s next basketball arena.

The plan features “non-traditional elements” including three stacked balconies in lieu of top rows above the seating bowl, Hansen’s group said on sonicsarena.com.

These so-called “Sonic rings” will slant inward for “MARKEDLY improved sight lines for all seating categories,” and to allow additional standing room, according to the site.

“The major point here is that our seating bowl design will maximize the intensity of the game experience and minimize the stratification of the different tiers of tickets,” the site said.

The arena will also feature premium seats — so-called “pocket” suites — that will sit court-side. Upper-level suites will be designed to embrace social opportunities instead of being “hermetically-sealed” in design with “a dedicated corridor that speaks to status superiority and isolation,” the site said.

The unusual design will work well for non-sports event as well, according to the site, as the balconies offer a flex capacity that can accommodate gatherings of various sizes.

The compressed seating bowl also cuts down on building costs by reducing the number of roof spans required, the site said.