Design & Development

OVG selected to develop new Memorial Stadium in Seattle

Featured image credit: One Roof Partnership

Featured image credit: One Roof Partnership

A group involving venue development, advisory and investment company Oak View Group has been selected to redevelop Seattle’s Memorial Stadium.

Seattle Public Schools (SPS) and the City of Seattle will enter into discussions with One Roof Partnership, which comprises OVG, One Roof Foundation and NHL team Seattle Kraken.

One Roof Partnership was one of two respondents to a recent request for proposals issued by SPS and the City of Seattle to build a new $150m (£117m/€137m), 10,000-capacity stadium that would host student athletics, community events, arts and culture.

The venue, which would be owned by SPS, would open no later than the end of 2027 and replace the existing Memorial Stadium, which opened 1946. The One Roof Partnership was selected ahead of a proposal from JLL and Poag Development Group, which had teamed up with an affiliate of AEG Worldwide.

The new stadium would provide a “significantly enhanced facility” which SPS said would be beyond what it could develop on its own. One Roof Partnership’s involvement will build upon significant public investment which includes $66.5m approved by Seattle voters in last year’s SPS capital levy, as well as $4m in state funding, $21m from the city, and a further $19m which the Seattle City Council will identify no later than 2026.

OVG has an existing presence in Seattle having developed the Kraken’s Climate Pledge Arena, which opened in 2021. Climate Pledge Arena, which replaced the old KeyArena, is also owned by the City of Seattle.

In a statement provided to TheStadiumBusiness.com, One Roof Partnership said: “We are honoured that Seattle Public Schools and the City of Seattle have elected to move forward with our proposal to transform Memorial Stadium into a student-first, community-centered facility. This project is 30 years in the making. We are inspired by the history of the stadium and look forward to partnering with other community leaders to serve future generations of Seattle-ites.”

SPS superintendent Dr. Brent Jones and Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell added: “We have carefully considered the recommendation of the Memorial Stadium Advisory Panel and agree that One Roof Partnership’s proposal makes a promising case for a potential partnership with a strong understanding of our values, a bold vision for an innovative new stadium, and which comes closest to meeting the requirements, goals and student-centred focus of the RFP.

“As a potential partner, One Roof Partnership proposes a philanthropic funding approach, rather than a commercial enterprise. This unique approach best reflects community, with an emphasis on creating new opportunities for students and youth from all backgrounds, and has promise to be a great enhancement to the Seattle Center campus.

“On behalf of SPS and the City, we want to express our sincere appreciation to both proposers for their interest in redeveloping and operating Memorial Stadium. Both proposals reflect the work of highly qualified and professional organisations that have demonstrated the ability to develop and operate major athletic facilities, and we are grateful for their time, effort, interest and participation in this process.”

OVG will now continue talks with SPS and the City of Seattle in the hope of reaching a mutual agreement to be considered by the SPS board of directors and the city council later this year. Students and the community will have opportunities to provide input to help shape the planning and design through a community engagement process following partnership negotiation.

Work on a new stadium first began in 2017 through a partnership between SPS and the City of Seattle. In 2021, a letter of intent was signed outlining the shared goal of replacing the existing stadium with a “best-in-class, multi-use” facility, which was followed by a Memorandum of Understanding signed in October 2022.