King County authorities announced last week that all resources to finance the Kingdome debt are now collected. The only issue is – the stadium was imploded 15 years ago, prompting more questions about public financing of sports venues…
Last week the King County informed it has enough money to finally pay off its debts. Collected through hotel and motel taxes, the resources are in place 9 months early of debt deadline (end of 2015).
However, the debt won’t be paid off now, the funds will be used in transactions to generate additional revenue. All excess funds will go to cultural programs and the debt will be paid off in late 2015.
© King County
The 20-year debt was taken in 1994 to cover large renovation works of the Kingdome. Seattle’s major stadium suffered from serious roof problems throughout its history and in 1994 ceiling tiles began falling off before a game, prompting its closure. Over $50 million had to be spent immediately, financed through additional debt.
Paying off a debt in time is no reason for headline news, but in this case the operation will come 15 years after Kingdome was imploded (March 26, 2000). It also comes in a time when public spending for large sports projects is subject to strong controversy across the US.
© Seattle Municipal Archives