Sources: Gonzaga and Alabama are finalizing an agreement to play a neutral site game next season in Seattle. There will be a return game in Birmingham during the 22-23 season.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) May 26, 2021
The game will be a essentially be the renewal of the Battle in Seattle, an annual ritual for a “neutral” game in Seattle at the old Key Arena. The event took place for 13-straight years, but ended after the 2015-16 season.
According to Jeff Goodman, the event will occur annually with Gonzaga as the headliner and some other guy managing the event.
Gonzaga will play a highly ranked, Power 5 team in Seattle at the new Climate Pledge Arena on Dec. 4, source told @Stadium.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) May 23, 2021
Basically bringing the old Battle of Seattle back. Event will occur annually with Gonzaga as the headliner and Dan Shell of Oak View group managing event.
Gonzaga, which has a large graduating contingent in Seattle, among other fans, easily filled the arena when high profile opponents came to town, such as Arizona, Connecticut, or Tennessee. However, some years, the opponents of UMass, Davidson, South Alabama, and Cal Poly failed (understandably) to draw 15,000+.
With Key Arena set to open as the newly renovated Climate Pledge Arena later this year, it is great to see the Zags try and get the series up and running once again. Starting it off with a bang, a most likely preseason top 10 team in Alabama, only helps that cause.
UPDATE: GU Athletic Director Mike Roth is refuting a bit of Goodman’s tweet, saying they will look at it annually, but it is not guaranteed to be an annual occurrence.
Gonzaga A.D. Mike Roth stopped short of saying the Battle in Seattle will become an annual event.— Jim Meehan (@SRJimm) May 26, 2021
“It’s going to be an annual evaluation. If we could get the right opponent every year … our presence in Seattle has been great.”