Seattle City Council approves initial plan for Memorial Stadium redevelopment

Memorial Stadium at Seattle Center

The Seattle City Council passed a resolution today establishing the city’s support for a plan to demolish and rebuild Memorial Stadium at Seattle Center through a private-public partnership. The City of Seattle and Seattle Public Schools (SPS), which owns the stadium, are working together on the project. 

The legislation was sponsored by Council President Debora Juarez. It passed by a vote of 8-1, with Councilmember Kshama Sawant voting no.

Under the plan, the 76-year-old stadium would be replaced with a state-of-the-art venue focused on student sports and other uses for Seattle’s youth. It is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2027. The stadium would be required to have at least 8,000 seats under covered stands to be complaint with standards set by the Washington Interscholastic Athletic Association.

A working schedule for the redevelopment of Memorial Stadium showing that the latest completion date is scheduled for December 2027.

The City of Seattle and SPS have received two bids to redevelop Memorial Stadium. The company selected would redevelop, operate, and maintain the new stadium in partnership with the city and SPS.  

Resolution 32092, approved by Council today, declares the city’s support for moving forward on the project. Under the resolution, the next step will be for Mayor Bruce Harrell and the SPS Superintendent Dr. Brent Jones to select a business partner. That decision is expected by May 22. The contract would then have to be approved by Council and is subject to review by the SPS Board of Directors.  

The resolution also requests that the Seattle Center and SPS work together to implement an additional community engagement process that helps to refine the project’s design and programming to help ensure that the project supports Seattle Center, welcomes and serves students and youth, fosters equity and inclusivity, and recognizes the importance of the site’s history. 

How will the new Memorial Stadium be funded?  

Funding already dedicated for the stadium includes:  

  • $66.5 million of funds approved by Seattle voters through the SPS 2022 Building Technology Athletics and Academics (BTA V) levy, 
  • $21 million approved in the City 2023-28 Capital Improvement Plan, and 
  • $4 million approved in the Washington State 2023 capital budget. 

The Council has also committed to work with the Mayor and SPS to identify additional funding. The goal is to reach a combined contribution of $40 million.

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