Courtesy First and Goal
Tower will mark Seahawks' new stadium
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by David Schaefer
Seattle Times staff reporter
Friday, May 22, 1998
A 12- to 13-story tower - with a scoreboard at the top and bleacher seating for up to 3,000 fans in its base - is the focal point in the latest design for a new Seattle Seahawks stadium.
Architects for Seahawk owner Paul Allen yesterday presented the latest evolution of the developing plan at a meeting of the Public Stadium Authority, which will own the stadium.
Architects from Ellerbe Beckett of Kansas City said the 130-foot tower at the stadium entrance from Pioneer Square would complement Smith Tower and the clock tower of King Street Station.
The stadium is part of a $425 million complex that includes an exhibition hall and parking garage. Construction of the hall and garage are to begin in September, with work on the stadium beginning in April 2000. It is to be ready for the 2002 football season.
Although early stadium plans called for 72,000 seats, Bob Collier, Allen's project manager, said it will be built with 67,000 permanent seats. An additional 5,000 temporary seats could be brought in as needed, he said.
The National Football League requires a seating capacity of 72,000 for stadiums hosting a Super Bowl, but 67,000 should be enough most of the time, Collier said.
Fewer permanent seats may make it easier to televise Seahawk home games, which must be sold out, under NFL rules, before local TV broadcast is allowed, he noted.
Collier said the number of restrooms would be equivalent to the number in a 72,000-seat stadium.
The $400 million football/soccer stadium and exhibition center will be owned by the public and funded by a private-public partnership. Private contributions will total at least $100 million, while the public will contribute up to $300 million through a new lottery and a variety of taxes generated by events in the stadium/exhibition center.
Exhibition center groundbreaking/construction start September 1998 Exhibition center/garage completed November 1999 Demolition of Kingdome starts January 15, 2000* Stadium construction starts April 2000 Stadium completed July 31, 2002 First Seahawks game played in new stadium August 2002 * Note: four to five month total process. Construction on new facility can begin part way through the demolition process.
Here's what the financing package includes:
- $100 million private investment led by Paul G. Allen. Allen has also purchased the Seahawks for $200 million.
- $127 million from new, sports related lottery games, similar to the Mariners baseball-themed scratch games.
- $101 million in sales taxes collected in King County attributable to events in the Stadium/ Exhibition Center.
- $56 million on facility admissions and parking taxes.
- $15 million by extending King County’s share of the existing hotel-motel tax.
- $1 million per year of in-kind advertising for the new lottery games will be provided by Mr. Allen.
- All excess stadium revenues will fund youth athletic facilities throughout the state in addition to a $10 million contribution from Paul G. Allen.
- $14 million of the public contribution will come from interest earned on the $50 million private contribution from Paul G. Allen.
- Mr. Allen has also agreed to pay for any construction cost overruns.
- As an added measure, the debt on the Kingdome will be retired, freeing property taxes for other purposes.
For immediate release
January 23, 1998
Contact: Stuart Smith,
Director of Communications at Ellerbe Becket
Ellerbe Becket to Design Seahawks Stadium & Exhibition Center
Kansas City, Mo. - First & Goal Inc. has chosen Ellerbe Becket to design the new, state-of-the-art Seattle Seahawks Stadium & Exhibition Center. First & Goal is the organization managing the Seahawks' owner Paul G. Allen's interest in the new facility for the team.
The Seahawks, who currently play in the Seattle King Dome, will make the move to the expansive $425 million facility in 2002. The stadium is to include 72,000 seats; 10,000 club seats; 100 sideline suites; and 16 field-level suites that will offer a breathtaking view of the downtown Seattle skyline. The roof will be designed so that 70 percent of the seats will be protected from the elements, while leaving the natural grass playing field exposed. In addition, the 325,000-square-foot Exhibition Center will provide an extraordinary stage for consumer shows and community events, as well as pre-and-post-game events. The Center will bring a completely new dimension to the traditional NFL experience. Completion date is scheduled for 1999.
David M. Murphy, vice president and project director; and James Poulson, design principal for the Kansas City Ellerbe Becket office will design the Seattle Seahawks Stadium & Exhibition Center. Their expertise and Ellerbe Becket's experience designing the Rose Garden - also developed by the Paul Allen Group - was instrumental in winning the Seahawks contract. The Rose Garden is the home of the NBA?s Portland Trailblazers.
"We worked as a team with Ellerbe Becket on the Rose Garden," said Bob Collier, senior project manager for Football Northwest. "It was a very successful project, and the fact that Ellerbe worked well with the contractors, completed the project on time and within budget played an important role in building the working relationship for the Seahawks project. I'm sure that it, too, will be a world-class sports facility."
Murphy's international sports experience includes the 1996 Olympic Stadium/Turner Field in Atlanta; Bank One Ballpark, home of the Arizona Diamondbacks in Phoenix; and Oriole Ballpark at Camden Yards in Baltimore. Poulson has been involved with the Rose Garden; the new Indiana Fieldhouse, which is the future home of the Indianapolis Pacers; and Core States Center, home of the NBA Philadelphia 76ers and the NHL Philadelphia Flyers.
Ellerbe Becket has been involved with the Seahawks project for some time, and assisted in the public involvement campaign to win voter approval for the new sports complex, which is adjacent to Pioneer Square, a commercial and residential district and major transportation center for Seattle. This location is expected to ensure the sports complex's success.
"I'm particularly excited about this project because we have so much to work with, Murphy said." "This will be one of the premier urban entertainment complexes in the United States."
An innovator since its founding in 1909, Ellerbe Becket provides integrated architecture, engineering and construction services from 12 office locations worldwide.