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OVG bids to rebuild Seattle’s Memorial Stadium

The 12,000-capacity stadium opened in 1947 and has hosted sports events and concerts, but has fallen behind on maintenance in recent years

By Lisa Henderson on 05 May 2023

Memorial Stadium, Seattle

Memorial Stadium, Seattle

image © Wikimedia Commons/Joe Mabel

Oak View Group (OVG) has submitted a bid to rebuild Seattle’s Memorial Stadium, located minutes from its Climate Pledge Arena.

The 12,000-capacity stadium opened in 1947 and hosted high school football before the World’s Fair in 1962. Since then it has hosted multiple civic events, graduations, and concerts but has fallen behind on maintenance in recent years.

Seattle Public Schools (SPS), which owns the stadium, has allocated $66.5 million for a new venue, with an additional $25 million coming from the city and state.

Private investors interested in operating the building were asked to submit bids by Thursday (4 May) with a new vision for the building.

OVG submitted a proposal under the name “One Roof Partnership” which is a nod to One Roof Foundation, the philanthropic arm of ice hockey team Seattle Kraken and Climate Pledge Arena.

Tod Leiweke, CEO of Seattle Kraken and brother to OVG CEO Tim, has been serving as the local point person on the proposal.

He would not say how much OVG would contribute if selected as the winning bidder but he told local press “If it happens, it will be the biggest commitment we’ve made to this community”.

“If it happens, it will be the biggest commitment we’ve made to this community”

An early design shows that OVG is proposing a small stadium that preserves the existing World War II Memorial Wall on the east side of the existing complex.

The formal Request for Proposals asked for a minimum configuration of at least 8,000 fans, and the ability to house a stage and other staging equipment for the campus.

The school district also said the space could likely fit a 20,000-seat project, depending on the design and would be best with a connection to the International Fountain and August Wilson Way on the west side.

Leiweke said their proposal would meet the criteria and timeline. The city and district are expected to select a winner by the week of 22 May and negotiate financing after that.

It is not yet known who else may have submitted a bid by the deadline but it was reported that 113 different people or organisations signed up to tour the site during an open house last month, including ASM Global.

OVG oversees the operations of Climate Pledge Arena at Seattle Center, UBS Arena in Belmont Park, NY, and Moody Center in Austin, TX as well as arena development projects for Acrisure Arena in Palm Springs, CA; Co-op Live in Manchester, UK; and projects for Arena São Paulo in São Paulo, BZ; Baltimore Arena in Baltimore, MD; FirstOntario Centre Arena in Hamilton, ON; a New Arena and entertainment district in Las Vegas, NV; and a New Arena in Cardiff, Wales.


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