Oak View Group (OVG) and ASM Global, the venue management company under the AEG umbrella, have both entered bids for the contract to rebuild and redesign Seattle’s Memorial Stadium. The companies also both submitted bids for the contract to redevelop the city’s NBA arena, with OVG selected for the work on what became Climate Pledge Arena.
Located in Seattle Center, the stadium was built in 1947 and has hosted generations of local sports events and concerts. It was previously the home of the NWSL’s Seattle Reign, who relocated to Tacoma in part due to the alleged deteriorating condition of the venue.
Voters have already approved the allocation of $66.5 million for the project, with an additional $25 million coming from the city and state. Private investors, interested in operating the building, were asked to submit bids with a new vision for the building, according to KOMONews.
Bidders were asked to submit their designs including a minimum configuration of at least 8,000 fans, with potential for a venue that could accommodate as many as 20,000. They also believed that a design featuring a connection to the International Fountain and August Wilson Way on the west side of the city would be preferred. .
One Roof Partnership, which is linked to the Oak View Group, submitted its rendering of a new stadium with grandstands on four sides, which would accommodate more than 10,000 spectators. It also pledges “a cost-effective design and development process,” with private, philanthropic and commercial contributions, in addition to taxpayer dollars. The project mentions an all-electric stadium “connecting to existing Seattle City Light’s power grid,” rather than a Seattle Center power plant that uses natural gas.
JLL-Poag, affiliated with ASM Globlal and AEG, submitted its rendering of a green-tinted new stadium with a large grandstand rising near Seattle Center’s International Fountain.
Hoppes are that the newly redesigned facility will be a future home for cultural events, concerts, 2026 World Cup training and perhaps professional soccer or rugby, as well as high school sports and graduation ceremonies, as part of a redevelopment project according to Seattle leaders. But they also emphasize that Memorial Stadium will remain a student-first venue.
Kraken’s chief executive officer, Tod Leiweke, states that it is “a very, very important project” not just for the campus but for their company, referring to Seattle Center.
Leiweke’s brother, Tim Leiweke is the founder, and CEO of OVG, and has been serving as the local point person on the proposal. Although he did not give away any details regarding the contribution OVG would made if selected, he said: “I don’t want to get in front of the (selection) committee, but I’m telling you, this will be an expression of our commitment to this community. If it happens, it will be the biggest commitment we’ve made to this community.”
The winning bidder is expected to be selected by the week of May 22 by the city and district, and the financing will be discussed and revealed after the selection. The announcement of the full list of proposals will only come after a partner is declared, but 113 different people or organizations are told to have registered for touring the site.
Komo News reports that the OVG design is similar to another from Kansas City-based Generator Studios, which is behind the architectural concept for a new soccer-specific stadium in that city and helped plan the Kraken’s Northgate Kraken Community Iceplex and Sounders FC’s new team headquarters and training facility at the Renton Long acres site.
According to a report from Front Office Sports, the Seattle school district has pledged $66.5 million toward the project, with an additional $25 million from city and state governments. The entities are seeking private investment as well.
“We are pleased to have received proposals for replacing Memorial Stadium with an innovative new, multi-purpose sports, educational and entertainment venue to better serve students from all backgrounds and the broader community, and which is better integrated with the Seattle Center campus,” issued the city and Seattle Public Schools in a joint statement.
Last Updated on May 16, 2023 by Dave Clark
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