Seattle Mayor backs use of taxpayer dollars to replace Memorial Stadium
A new deal means Seattle voters may soon be asked to raise their taxes to replace the 74-year-old Memorial Stadium, which sits on Owned by the Seattle Public School District.
A Letter of Intent signed by Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and Seattle Public Schools Acting Superintendent Brent Jones on Monday builds on a 2017 city-district partnership agreement. The letter creates a path for a new stadium to better serve the school district and provide a high-quality venue for arts, sports, culture, community gatherings and music at the Seattle Center.
It also identifies a site where Seattle Public Schools could build a future school in downtown Seattle – and co-located park space – if enrollment capacity is needed. The new school is said to be on city-owned land at the old South Portal of the Battery Street Tunnel that was vacated when the overpass was removed.
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Durkan says she supports the district’s $ 66.5 million capital drawdown to replace the stadium, which is used for athletic competitions, graduation ceremonies and concerts of all types, not just school events.
“City Government and Seattle Public Schools Come Together with Plan to Complete a Downtown School and New Memorial Stadium – This is a Win-Win Solution for Seattle Students and Families . We have seen the transformative power of the Climate Pledge Arena, and now we have a unique opportunity to progress at Memorial Stadium – an opportunity that will provide incredible opportunities for our youth and the community, ”Durkan said in a written statement. . “Students across the district shouldn’t have to play in poor condition. We owe it to the youth of our city for generations to come to build a first-class facility in the heart of our transforming Seattle Center. “
The levy should be on the February special ballot. If approved by voters, the letter of intent would allow the city to work with the school district to expand the scope, scale and functionality of the new stadium, with the city and private philanthropy providing additional funding. Project design, final cost and schedule would be determined in a future planning process with broader input.
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Memorial Stadium was built to honor the more than 700 Seattle students who lost their lives during World War II. Currently, it hosts high school football games for Seattle schools and adult recreational leagues. It was once the home of the Seattle Sounders in the 1970s, and the home of Seattle Reign FC – now known as OL Reign – from 2014 to 2019. OL Reign now plays for Tacoma.
KIRO Radio’s Newsdesk contributed to this report.