Next steps in privatizing West Seattle Stadium operation


We first reported September 30th that the city Parks Department is seeking proposals from private concerns that would be willing to make renovations at West Seattle Stadium — renovations the city estimates would cost at least $4 million and doesn’t have the money for — in exchange for an agreement to “operate and maintain the Stadium including the track and field areas, but not the parking areas … a multi-year contract that allows (the operator) to recoup its capital investment and support its own business.” Following up on that – this is scheduled for discussion at the Delridge District Council meeting this Wednesday, according to district neighborhood coordinator Ron Angeles (7 pm, Southwest Precinct meeting room, public invited). He also forwarded updates on how to formally comment on the stadium’s future and the forthcoming “request for proposals,” including the previously mentioned public hearing before the city Board of Park Commissioners on October 23rd, the board’s November vote, and various ways to send comments right now. Read on for full details, including a recap of the repairs the city wants the future stadium operator to make:

First, from this document included in our September 30th report, which included timelines, an overview, and a draft “request for proposals,” here’s what the city sees as essential repairs (there’s actually an application on file on the DPD site):

a. North Grandstand:
• New Bleachers with a capacity seating that will include seating that is ADA accessible.
• Walkways. ADA improvements; renovate stairs & walkways.
• Locker Room. Upgrade, including new HVAC.
• Bathroom Fixtures. Renovate fixtures.
• Fire Suppression/ Sprinkler. Renovate to current Fire Code requirements.
• Press Box. Replace flooring.
• Painting. Scrape, caulk, seal and paint exterior surfaces.
• Concession Building. Complete proposed restrooms.

b. South Bleachers.

c. Improving Overall Circulation And Layout.
• Better access is needed between main track area and west area.
• Better circulation for all activities.
• Perimeter Fence. Replace.

d. Playing Field. Turf replacement.

Now, the recently released official city how-to on having a say in West Seattle Stadium’s future, at this stage in the game as the city prepares to seek proposals. (Note that the briefing materials for the Park Board are likely to be publicly available within a week or so, and we will bring you those details when they are):

To submit written testimony on the Board of Park Commissioner’s public hearing for West Seattle Stadium Use:

• On October 23, 2008, the Board of Park Commissioners will hear a briefing on the West Seattle Stadium Use at Park Headquarters at 100 Dexter Avenue North, 7 pm. The briefing will immediately be followed by a public hearing. The public may testify during the public hearing for up to two minutes each.

• At its November 13 meeting, the Board will discuss the Stadium and make a recommendation to the Superintendent. This meeting will also be held at Park Headquarters at 100 Dexter Avenue North.

You may also submit written testimony for the Board’s consideration until the November 13 discussion and recommendation via e-mail, fax, U.S. mail, or hand delivery. The Board does not accept telephone testimony.

All testimony should be sent to Sandy Brooks, Park Board Coordinator, who will forward it to the Board members and to Rebecca Salinas, Seattle Parks Director of Partnerships. Please send your testimony as early as possible to allow the Board adequate time to read.

Written testimony sent to the Park Board receives the same consideration as verbal testimony given at the public hearing.

• E-mail: send to Sandy Brooks at E-mails are forwarded as soon as possible after receipt.
Deadline is 5:00 pm, Wednesday, November 12.

• Fax: send “Attention: Sandy Brooks” at 206-233-7023
• U.S. mail/hand-delivered: send to Sandy Brooks at 100 Dexter Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109-5199, or drop off at the front desk at 100 Dexter Ave N.
Deadline is Thursday, November 6, to allow time for copying and mailing to the Board.

If you have any questions, please contact Sandy Brooks at 206-684-5066 or e-mail at

According to this document from last month with the draft “Request for Proposal,” the official RFP will be put out in mid-November, after the aforementioned Park Board vote on Nov. 13. One more note: In comments following our September 30th report, Christine Palmer of Historic Seattle pointed out that the stadium has been evaluated and suggested as eligible for city landmark status.

6 Replies to "Next steps in privatizing West Seattle Stadium operation"

  • Lisa October 12, 2008 (4:38 pm)

    If the stadium/track became operated & maintained by a party other than the City, would the track still be open to ALL the regular runners/walkers that use it daily? It would be shame to have the track locked up and unavailable, or even a $charge to use it for a run.

  • WSB October 12, 2008 (7:32 pm)

    Good question.
    In the “draft RFP” the Parks Department proposes protecting historic uses as follows (this is long but important) – I don’t see anything about individual citizens – that would be important, I’d suggest, to comment on both at the Parks Board public hearing AND via e-mail or any of the other comment methods mentioned above. Here’s the terminology from the draft RFP:
    >>The operator will honor and support historic programmatic uses by the
    City, Seattle Parks and Recreation, Seattle Public Schools, and Seattle
    private schools, including but not limited to the following current Stadium
    • O’Dea High School, Private All Boys School – Approx 500
    students. Use is for track, football and meets (practice & games).
    • Seattle Lutheran High School – Private coed school – Approx 150
    students. Use is for track, football and meets (practice & games).
    • Holy Names Academy, Private Catholic college preps All Girls
    School – Approx 650 students. Use is for track and meets
    (practice & games)
    • Northwest School, coed Private Middle & High College Prep Day
    & Boarding School. Use is for track and meets (practice &
    • Seattle Academy, coed independent private middle and high
    school, Approx 560 students. Use is for track and meets (practice
    & games).
    • Seattle Preparatory School, a Private coed Jesuit high school. Use
    is for football (practice & games).
    • Seattle School District, Public City-Wide coed school system. Use
    is for track, football and meets (practice & games).
    • West Seattle High School, Public Seattle coed High School. Use is
    for track, football and meets (practice & games).
    • Citywide Athletics, Parks Department Division. Use is for track,
    football and meets (practice & games).
    • Pacific Northwest track and Field Association, a group committed
    to the development of USA Track and Field. Use is for track and
    meets (practice & games).
    • Club Northwest, Club involved in the Pacific Northwest running
    community, and nationally with USA Track & Field
    West Seattle Stadium RFP –Summary and Prospectus
    • Use is for track and meets (practice & games).
    • ACA Relay for life, American Cancer Society coordinates runs to
    raise money for research and programs. Relay runs to raise money
    for research.
    • UW – University of Washington. Use is for track and field events
    (practice & games).
    • Van Asselt CC Youth – Parks Department Community Center.
    Use is for track and field events (practice & games).
    • Southwest Athletic Club – teaches personal and social
    responsibility through sports and health-related activities. Use is
    for football (practice and games).
    • Seattle Speed Track Club – Their goal is to assist young people
    ages 8-18 with a path way to success both athletically and
    educationally through the development of their athletic talents.
    Use is for track and field events (practice & games).

    Other uses: The stadium is located in a Single Family Residential Zone
    (SF 5000) and as such must adhere to the allowable uses and regulations
    included in this zoning. The operator is responsible for applying for and
    securing any zoning changes with the City of Seattle for any use that is
    not currently authorized in this zoning. It is expected that the Operator
    will accommodate other uses at times when they themselves do not have
    performances. Extra consideration and evaluation scores will be given
    for proposals that demonstrate that the Operator will encourage and
    accommodate ongoing interesting and accessible activities. The
    Department welcomes proposals that include coordination between one
    or more organizations that currently use the stadium and that would
    increase year-round use. << (excerpted from this document:

  • Arbor Heights Mom October 12, 2008 (7:48 pm)

    I guess if it’s a choice between libraries and tracks, I’ll pick libraries but I still think it’s a shame that the city can’t find the cash to support something as all-purpose and, given that long list of schools that use it, potentially profitable as a track. Heck, I’d pay an extra tax on this versus a new stadium any day.

  • Lisa October 12, 2008 (8:42 pm)

    Thank you for digging into this regarding the public general use of the track. I started running again earlier this year & joined a running group that meets weekly at the track. Since then I’ve been down on other days/times and the track is always in use. It is a great place to workout and meet others doing the same. My husband and I will definitely comment via email or at the hearing.


  • jeff3 October 13, 2008 (7:41 am)

    why is it that we are left with the choice of libraries OR tracks? It doesn’t seem fair.

  • CandrewB October 13, 2008 (1:08 pm)

    I would venture to guess once it is sold, the new owners won’t be cool with the liability of allowing runners in there unsupervised and for free.

Sorry, comment time is over.