NHL Seattle to offer free transit tickets for fans

SEATTLE - Visitors headed to an NHL Seattle game can look forward to an unexpected perk: free public transit.

The NHL Seattle group announced Tuesday the future hockey team will be the first professional sports team in the city to offer free public transit to and from the games.

"Paying for fans who do not have a company-sponsored ORCA card to use public transit helps increase access to games while decreasing traffic congestion and its impact to the environment," NHL Seattle officials said in a release.

In addition to free public transit, NHL Seattle plans to make a sizeable investment into the city's monorail. The monorail, which runs from Westlake Station to Seattle Center Station, will see $7 million in upgrades, NHL Seattle announced.

The upgrades will include improved platforms, modernized ticketing and increased elevator access; all in an effort to get more people to and from games at a faster rate.

"Light rail and Monorail will be the fastest and best way for many fans to get to the arena," officials said.

NHL Seattle is working with the monorail's operating company to make the improvements.

A revamped Key Arena is expected to be done in the summer of 2021, with WNBA and NHL games to follow. The arena is slated to have about 17,000 seats.

The privately funded project was initially estimated to cost $650 million, but has ballooned up to $930 million.

Q13 got a look inside the arena construction in January: