A Seattle City Council committee unanimously approved a resolution this morning to support the joint efforts of the Seattle Public Schools and Seattle Center to advance plans to redevelop Memorial Stadium through a public-private partnership.
The new, state-of-the-art stadium will host student athletics, concerts, professional sports, and other community events. It will also continue to honor Seattle’s veterans, preserving the historic Memorial Wall that lists the names of 762 former students who lost their life in World War II.
How the legislation works
The resolution is sponsored by Council President Debora Juarez (District 5 – North Seattle). It affirms the city’s full support for Seattle Center to advance negotiations for a public-private partnership between the City of Seattle, Seattle Public Schools, and the One Roof Partnership to build and operate a new Memorial Stadium. It also:
- Reaffirms the City’s previous funding commitments for the project, including its intent to work with the Mayor to identify an additional $19M in the City’s future budget discussions for a total of $40M in City funding for the project;
- Requests the Mayor’s Office and Seattle Center propose legislation to implement the partnership; and
- Requests an equitable and inclusive process that engages students and the community about the projects.
The resolution now moves to a final Council vote on Tuesday, September 26. Final agreements to advance the project are expected to be considered by the Seattle School Board and the Seattle City Council in early 2024.
“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to build a state-of-the-art stadium in the cultural heart of our city that puts the needs of Seattle’s students first. I am incredibly proud of the work we’ve done together during my time on Council to help this long-needed project break ground. Our work today will ensure Memorial Stadium remains an invaluable resource for our community for generations to come,” said Council President Juarez.
“Seattle Public Schools is deeply appreciative of the City as a partner as we work together to redevelop Memorial Stadium. The Council’s resolution reaffirms our partnership and will enable us to develop a modern venue in the heart of our city that will support student athletes, performing arts, and community use,” said Fred Podesta, COO of Seattle Public Schools.
“This partnership will open the door to an exciting new future for Memorial Stadium. The new stadium will be for the community – serving students first and foremost, as well as bringing music, art and culture back to the building as part of Seattle Center. The City’s commitment of funding, together with the school district, is essential for this partnership to move forward. We’re excited to take this next step,” said Marshall Foster, Director of Seattle Center.
The 76-year-old stadium has served as a crucial venue for Seattle student athletes and the community since it was built in 1947. However, the aging stadium has lacked reinvestment and there have been calls to renovate it for years. Work to replace the stadium officially began in 2017 through a partnership agreement between Seattle Public Schools and the City of Seattle.
Last year, voters overwhelmingly approved a Proposition 2 with 79 percent of the vote, which included a $66.5 million investment for renovations of the stadium. The City of Seattle has already approved $21 million for the project and intends to identify another $19 million by 2026. Washington State is also investing $4 million. The remaining funding will be raised through the public-private partnership with One Roof Partnership. Seattle Public Schools will continue to own the stadium. The new stadium is expected to be complete in 2026, no later than the end of 2027.