Memorial Stadium to be demolished, rebuilt by 2027
May 16, 2023, 5:25 PM | Updated: 5:29 pm
The Seattle City Council passed a resolution supporting the plan to demolish and rebuild Memorial Stadium as a state-of-the-art performance and sports venue focused on student sports and the Seattle youth in general.
The project will be overseen by both the City of Seattle and Seattle Public Schools (SPS). The legislation, sponsored by Council President Debora Juarez, passed on an 8-1 vote, with Councilmember Kshama Sawant as the lone opposing voice.
The district stated the rebuild will preserve Memorial Wall, which honors Seattle school alums who lost their lives in World War II.
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The 76-year-old stadium rebuild, set to have at least 8,000 seats, is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2027.
Next week, Mayor Bruce Harrell and SPS Superintendent Brent Jones will select a business partner to undertake the rebuild, with the contract having to be approved by the council while being subjected to review by the SPS Board of Directors, according to the City of Seattle. There are currently two bids to redevelop Memorial Stadium.
Funding already dedicated for the stadium includes $66.5 million in funds approved by Seattle voters through a levy, $21 million approved in the city in its 2023-28 Capital Improvement Plan, and $4 million approved in the Washington state 2023 capital budget. The goal is to reach a combined contribution of an additional $40 million.
Construction of Memorial Stadium began in 1946 when the grandstand of Civic Field, which had previously occupied the site, was demolished, according to the Society of Architectural Historians. The building has been altered slightly since its original construction. SPS is rumored to be the first school district in the nation to install astroturf, which was used in Memorial Stadium starting in 1967.
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The stadium was prominently used by Seattle area high school football teams, but the facility was also the site for several major musical performances in addition to being the home, from 1994 to 1998, for the Seattle Sounders.
Memorial Stadium was the host location for many significant public events held within the region, including a speech by President Harry S. Truman in 1948 and the opening ceremonies for the Century 21 Exposition in 1962.