Breaking News
More () »

Here's how voters will decide if Seattle's Memorial Stadium gets renovated this special election

Seattle Public Schools said it would renovate the stadium if voters pass the levy during February's election.

SEATTLE — Seattle Public Schools (SPS) said it is willing to finally renovate Memorial Stadium but only if voters approve a new multimillion-dollar levy.

The stadium, which was built in 1947, has housed everything from concerts to graduations to water skiing over the course of its illustrious history. It was the home of the opening and closing ceremonies for the 1962 World's Fair, as well.

Yet, there has always been a sticking point over maintenance, with the facility getting constant use by SPS sports teams while also being a massive parcel of land in Seattle Center. The OL Reign cited problems with the building before the franchise moved to Tacoma.

SPS admits now that the maintenance needs are severe between the grandstands as well as its plumbing and electrical needs. It has agreed to spend $66 million of a new Buildings, Technology and Athletics levy on new grandstands and infrastructure if voters approve the package next week.

>> Download KING 5's Roku and Amazon Fire apps to watch live newscasts and video on demand

SPS CFO JoLynn Berge told KING 5 it is unrelated to an agreement between the school district and the city, which was signed off on last year to pursue a land swap and build a new school at the old Battery Street Tunnel site. However, documents at the time indicated a levy approval would trigger a new discussion about such a deal.

There has been very little opposition to the $783 million levy, although signs started popping up on street corners in the past few weeks encouraging people to vote "No." 

An opposition note, in the voter's guide also suggests people should vote against the levy because of the cost and the fact it would demolish Memorial Stadium. The wall, on the Stadium's east side, is a tribute to Seattle Public School students who died during World War II.

SPS said unequivocally it would preserve the wall with any renovation of the grounds and that the levy would result in taxes of about 47 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value beginning in 2023.

Before You Leave, Check This Out