Council Vote Gives ‘Green Light’ for Equity in Professional Sports
SEATTLE – Today Councilmember Dan Strauss (District 6, Northwest Seattle) and Councilmember Debora Juarez (District 5, North Seattle) celebrated the passage of Council Bill 120149, which amends size limits and parking requirements for indoor sports and recreation uses in the Ballard-Interbay-Northend Manufacturing/Industrial Center (BINMIC).
Alongside Mayor Jenny Durkan, Councilmembers Strauss and Councilmember Juarez helped to usher the legislation through the council.
The Seattle Storm team has won four WNBA championships, making them the most decorated of all regional professional sports teams. The Storm also offers basketball clinics for youth and supports social-justice movements.
“By passing this legislation, a team like the Seattle Storm can build local facilities including in Interbay,” said Mayor Jenny A. Durkan. “Seattle is proud to be home to the four-time champions, the Seattle Storm, and legendary sports leaders like Sue Bird who inspire our community both on and off the court. We can ensure generations of young girls and our city will root for the Seattle Storm for years to come with the new Climate Pledge Arena and a new practice facility.”
Currently, the Seattle Storm shares the facilities at Seattle Pacific University for practice.
“The proposal we adopted today could allow the Seattle Storm or another business to build a practice facility in Seattle,” said Councilmember Strauss, the Chair of the Land Use and Neighborhoods Committee. “The bill we passed today does not change zoning or uses allowed within zones. The Seattle Storm have brought home more major championships than any other team in Seattle. They’ve had our back, representing Seattle at the highest levels of basketball nationally and around the world and it is important that we have their back too.”
“Title IX doesn’t stop at training facilities. The Seattle Storm, four-time national champions, have fought hard for 40,000 extra square feet on a property they already own,” said Juarez, who Chairs the Public Assets and Native Communities. “Sue Bird, four-time national champion and five-time Olympic gold medalist, said it best, ‘facilities tip the scales’ to attract and retain world-class players. Today’s vote tipped the scales in favor of equity and support for our Seattle Storm.”
Councilmember Andrew J. Lewis (District 7 – Pioneer Square to Magnolia), who represents the area affected by the legislation had the following to say, “I applaud the Seattle Storm for their interest in building a practice facility in Interbay, which would support the Storm as well as activating the area and providing the neighborhood with accessible recreation opportunities.”
Council Bill 120149 would amend Section 23.50.027 to allow indoor sports and recreation uses up to 50,000 square feet on General Industrial lots in the BINMIC meeting the following locational characteristics:
- At least 500 feet from shorelines;
- Within 300 feet of Neighborhood Commercial (NC) or Seattle Mixed (SM) zones;
- Within a quarter-mile of a park with active recreation uses such as sports fields or sports courts; and,
- Not within a mile of another indoor sports and recreation use in the BINMIC that exceeds 25,000 square feet in size.
The properties that meet these requirements are predominantly located near W Dravus Street, west of 15th Avenue W in Interbay as shown in the Office of Planning and Community Development (OPCD) Director’s Report on the proposed amendment. These sites will be near the future Ballard light rail extension and Interbay light rail station.