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Seattle Public Schools Will Plan Memorial Stadium Renovation With City

Memorial Stadium at the Seattle Center could be closer to getting a makeover. Seattle Public Schools, which owns the stadium, has signed an agreement with the city of Seattle to come up with a plan for the 70 year old high school sports facility.Standing together on the artificial turf of the stadium’s football field, with the Space Needle looming overhead, city and school district officials announced their new partnership.

There is no plan yet for where the money will come from or how much it will cost, but Mayor Tim Burgess said the partnership will help kick start the redesign of Memorial Stadium, which he says is showing its age.

“Memorial stadium is 70 years old. It’s deteriorating and it’s severely outdated,” Burgess said.

But, he promises, it will remain a place for Friday night football games and high school graduations, acknowledging that most public high schools in Seattle don't have large enough venues on their campuses to accommodate such activities.

Burgess also says the memorial part of Memorial Stadium won’t be forgotten.

“We are agreed that the renovation will honor and preserve Memorial Wall, a monument inscribed with the names of former Seattle students who died in World War II, " said Burgess

There are 700 names on Memorial Wall, which is at the main entrance outside the stadium.

How much a rebuilt stadium will cost and where the money will come from hasn’t been determined. Officials say one possibility is to seek donations from philanthropists.

In addition to the stadium, city officials say they’ll work with the school district on plans for a new high school downtown and on including space for ball fields at a housing development planned for Ft. Lawton in the Magnolia neighborhood. Some residents had wanted a school built there, but that wasn't included in the agreement between the district and the city.

Paula is a former host, reporter and producer who retired from KNKX in 2021. She joined the station in 1989 as All Things Considered host and covered the Law and Justice beat for 15 years. Paula grew up in Idaho and, prior to KNKX, worked in public radio and television in Boise, San Francisco and upstate New York.