PSA Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Washington State Public Stadium Authority and what does it do?
The Public Stadium Authority (PSA) was created by voters in 1997 when they passed Referendum 48 authorizing public financing for a stadium and exhibition center. The referendum established the PSA as the owner of the stadium, exhibition center and parking garage, and made the PSA responsible for overseeing the siting, design, construction and operation of the $430-million complex.
With construction complete, the chief role of the PSA is to ensure the public's interests are represented and protected in the facility's operation. The PSA Board is comprised of seven civic members from across the state appointed by the Governor.
How does First & Goal Inc. fit into all of this?
The interests of the Seattle Seahawks NFL football team and its owner, Paul Allen, are represented by First & Goal Inc (FGI). In 1998, the PSA Board authorized FGI to construct and operate the facility under PSA oversight. As the facility operator and master tenant, FGI-not the PSA-is responsible for scheduling events, ticketing, operations and parking.
How much did the facility cost and who paid for it?
The $430-million CenturyLink Field & Event Center was built with both public and private funds. Public investment totaled $300 million and came from the following sources: Washington State Lottery; King County sales tax; King County Hotel/Motel tax; deferred sales tax in King County; and stadium and exhibition center parking and admissions taxes.
The remaining balance of $130 million came from FGI, which is also responsible for funding maintenance, repair, and operations. Proceeds from the sale of naming rights will be used for facility improvements and other capital projects. Parking tax and admissions tax receipts will also be available for major capital repairs, replacements and improvements after the bonds are repaid.
What kinds of events are held at the stadium?
CenturyLink Field is home to the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League and the Major League Soccer Seattle Sounders FC. The stadium will also host professional soccer and a variety of other professional and amateur sporting events. The stadium could also be used for major national and international sporting events, such as the Super Bowl or World Cup Soccer.
What about the Event Center? What's held there?
CenturyLink Field Event Center hosts major consumer shows such as the Auto Show, Boat Show and Home Show, and similar large scale trade events. Concerts and other public festivals also take place in the facility. These events are too large for the Washington State Convention Center or Seattle Center, so the new exhibition center compliments these venues and adds to Seattle's ability to hold large events. In 2006 the WAMU Theatre was created inside the Event Center. The Theatre holds up to 7,000 for concerts, coroporate events and graduations.
Why is FieldTurf installed in the stadium instead of natural grass?
CenturyLink Field's playing field is covered with FieldTurf, an artificial surface that has received praise from the football community and has gained considerable acceptance in the soccer community. The PSA Board approved First & Goal's request to install FieldTurf at the stadium only after FGI committed to install and pay for temporary natural grass for major soccer events. If Major League Soccer requires a grass playing surface, the field will be permanently changed to natural grass at the time that Seattle receives an MLS team. In the meantime, FieldTurf provides much greater flexibility in scheduling back-to-back events in the stadium.
What benefits will Washington citizens realize from the facilities?
The voter-approved referendum that authorized public funding for CenturyLink Field & Event Center included a variety of statewide public benefits generated by the project. They include:
- The opportunity to attend consumer shows and sports/entertainment events in a nationally-recognized facility, including soccer, football, concerts and other special events.
- Facilities that will attract events-and therefore people-from throughout the Pacific Northwest, and in some cases from throughout the world, benefiting the state's hospitality and tourism industry.
- A state-of-the-art stadium that will help keep NFL football in the Pacific Northwest.
- Revenue for the state's Permanent Common School Fund (20 percent of the net profit from the exhibition center are deposited in the fund, which is used for public school improvements).
- A contribution of $10 million from Paul Allen to improve or create youth and community athletic fields and facilities across Washington state. Additional funds will be generated in the future for more fields and athletic facilities.