Seahawks Stadium and Stadium Place – Transpo setting the foundation for change
By Kurt Gahnberg
Transpo has been involved in the planning and development of the Seahawks Stadium/CenturyLink Field and Events Center and the adjacent “North Lot” parking lot since the mid-1990s. Our work has involved coordination with a variety of public and private stakeholders, including the City of Seattle, private developers, Football Northwest, the Public Stadium Authority, project architects, and stakeholders from nearby projects.
Initially, Transpo provided planning, feasibility and traffic operations assessments to support stadium visioning and parking conceptualization. This work employed sophisticated traffic micro-simulation modeling that considered multimodal conditions involving pedestrians, moving automobile traffic, parking maneuvers, and freight traffic to fully understand the complex environment. In addition to direct access to SR 519, this work resulted in the stadium parking garage being designed with speed ramps to facilitate complete vehicular exiting within 45 minutes of the end of an event.
As the project evolved, Transpo was brought onto the EIS team, leading the evaluation of transportation impacts, which considered the proximity of Safeco Field and baseball events, and evaluated multiple event scenarios. This was a significant study undertaken on a very tight schedule, and included the development of an entire year’s event “calendar” to establish not only venue attendance levels, but overlapping schedule potential and the development of design day conditions supportable as reasonable worst case conditions. The EIS and transportation work stood up to intense public scrutiny despite being completed under a short schedule.
After the stadium was complete, Transpo worked closely with the Public Stadium Authority and First and Goal, Inc. to assess to what extent the North Lot development could impact the staging of “flat shows” like the annual home and boat shows. This effort led to further understanding between the PSA, flat show sponsors and the developers of the North Lot regarding staging and operational requirements for these events.
Today, after nearly 25 years in the making, the project (now called Stadium Place), is the largest transit-oriented development/mixed-use project to break ground on the West Coast in many years. Phase I of the $680 million development features two residential towers. Once complete, Stadium Place will change the entire look and feel of the area, with increased density and an increased height limit of 240 feet (vs. surrounding property limits of 85 feet and 120 feet.) The final project will contain 900,000 square feet of residential and commercial development. Transpo’s foundational work on behalf of the Public Stadium Authority, First and Goal (representing the Seahawks), and the public has effectively laid the groundwork for this important example of smart growth in our City.
Transpo congratulates the City of Seattle and all of our stakeholder partners in realizing this vision for the area. To learn more, visit the developer’s project website.