Memorial Stadium Project

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Memorial Stadium Partners

Planning is under way for a new Memorial Stadium at Seattle Center – building upon a commitment made to Seattle students more than 75 years ago. The new stadium will continue to inspire students, the community, and the region today and for generations to come.

This exciting Memorial Stadium replacement project – a collaboration between Seattle Public Schools (SPS) and City of Seattle (City) – will create a state-of-the-art multi-purpose stadium for student athletics, education, arts, culture, entertainment, and community events. It will be seamlessly integrated with the Seattle Center campus and welcoming to all – with SPS retaining ownership and priority scheduled use of the venue.

In June 2023, SPS and the City announced One Roof Stadium Partnership (a consortium of Seattle Kraken, One Roof Foundation, and Climate Pledge Arena) as a potential private partner to construct and operate the new premier stadium following a competitive Request For Proposals (RFP) process. Discussions are currently underway to develop agreements to be considered and approved by the SPS Board of Directors and Seattle City Council in Summer 2024.

A Reimagined, Student-centered Facility

In addition to an improved athletic field, the shared vision for this dynamic new state-of-the-art stadium will center on students with performing arts, commencement ceremonies, and social and educational opportunities, as well as provide a welcoming year-round hub for community events. The new stadium will be a win for students, Seattle Center, and for the community.

The stadium will also be operated as a sustainable not-for-profit venture, rather than a commercial enterprise. This unique approach best reflects community and will benefit young people across the region through collaborations with groups such as King County Play Equity Coalition and its youth-focused constituents to design and implement programming to ensure youth can experience sport and play in the new stadium on non-SPS/City-designated days. To support this, One Roof Stadium Partnership pledged as part of its RFP response to donate $100,000 annually to support youth access programming at the new stadium for five years commencing with the first operating year.

In addition, the partners will be exploring opportunities for SPS students to deepen the relationship with Seattle Center’s resident arts, cultural, and sports organizations – such as career and technical training and access to skilled professionals on the ground.

A reimagined Memorial Stadium will also play host to large civic events – including concerts, community festivals, and professional sports. It will be truly integrated with the Seattle Center with new programmable public space and open sightlines into the heart of the campus, linking the stadium with International Fountain like never before, working toward the goals of Seattle Center’s Century 21 Master Plan.

The project also preserves Memorial Wall – honoring local high school students and alumni who lost their lives in World War II – which the Seattle Landmark Preservation Board designated as a landmark, elevating its place of honor at the new stadium.

For additional information, read our FAQs.

A Legacy Investment

One Roof Stadium Partnership’s involvement brings added expertise in design, construction, sustainability, and programming to the project. The partnership also expands on SPS and the City’s vision to better serve the needs of future generations of SPS students and maximize its use for the community in new and exciting ways in the heart of the city.

The cost of the stadium is planned to not exceed $150 million. Currently, the project’s public investment includes $66.5 million approved by Seattle voters in a 2022 SPS capital levy (specifically allocated to build/maintain capital assets), as well as nearly $4 million in state support; and $40 million committed from the City. In addition, One Roof Stadium Partnership has committed $5 million and to leading efforts to raise additional private funding needed for the project.

Construction is anticipated to be complete by 2027.

Community Engagement

Students and the community will have opportunities to provide input through a community engagement process beginning later this year. The process, guided by best practices used in other successful civic and school projects, will be based on a strong commitment to equity, inclusion, and access.

Capital Campaign

Extraordinary projects like this are the result of collective resources, knowledge, and passion.

With an unprecedented $110 million in public funding, the time is now to complete this shared vision through philanthropic giving.

A re-envisioned Memorial Stadium will serve as a centerpiece of the Seattle Center campus, unlocking new possibilities for our students and our community to thrive together.

Project Timeline

2017

- Partnership agreement between SPS and the City to collaboratively partner on a Memorial Stadium replacement and coordinate development of the SPS property with Seattle Center.

2021

- Letter of Intent, signed by SPS and the City, outlines the shared goal of replacing Memorial Stadium with a more visionary, multi-use facility.

2022

- Memorandum of Agreement between SPS and the City to continue longstanding Memorial Stadium partnership with SPS retaining ownership and priority use for student events, while maximizing use of the facility through community activities.

- Seattle voters approve SPS’ Buildings, Technology and Academics/Athletics V Capital Levy (BTA V), which includes $66.5 million for the Memorial Stadium project.

- Seattle City Council approves $21 million in Memorial Stadium project funding.

2023

- SPS and the City issue RFP for a private partner for the Memorial Stadium project.

- Seattle City Council approves an additional $19 million in Memorial Stadium project funding in the City capital plan.

- One Roof Stadium Partnership announced as potential private partner to construct, operate, and manage a new Memorial Stadium.

- Washington state legislature approves $4 million in capital budget to support Memorial Stadium project.

- Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board designates landmark status to Memorial Wall, preserving and elevating its place of honor as part of the new stadium.

2024

- SPS, the City, and One Roof Stadium Partnership align on key project terms to guide formal agreements (for consideration and final approval later in the year by Seattle School Board and Seattle City Council).

Project Next Steps

Beginning in Spring 2024 there will be an expanded community engagement process, guided by a commitment to racial equity, for input from students, families, and the general public.

This thoughtful, inclusive process will continue with the design review, aligning the City’s One Seattle focus – to make the city more equitable, livable, sustainable, and resilient for today’s communities and future residents – and with SPS’s policy for educational and racial equity.

About Memorial Stadium

SPS’ Memorial Stadium is the successor to Civic Field, built in 1927 as part of the City’s Civic Complex.

In 1946, the City deeded the land to SPS to build, operate and maintain a new athletic field. Voters approved a school levy and bonds (issued in 1942 and 1944) to provide funding for the improvement of school buildings and the construction of today’s Memorial Stadium, which was completed in 1947.

The stadium was selected as the site for a war memorial by a group of community leaders, appointed by Seattle Mayor William Devin following World War II, to pay tribute to the nearly 800 SPS alumni who lost their lives in the war. The Memorial Wall was designed by Garfield High School student Marianne Hanson, with revenues from Thanksgiving Day football games played in the stadium from 1947-49 funding the construction and installation.

Throughout its history, Memorial Stadium hosted the opening and closing ceremonies for the Seattle World’s Fair, tens of thousands of concerts and community events, and numerous school events each year attracting hundreds of thousands of students and community members.

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