Seattle Center Remodeling Floated

The Seattle City Council is accepting proposals to remodel the Seattle Center, which includes KeyArena and the aging Seattle High School Memorial Stadium, and the price tag could be more than $600 million.

Seattle city councilman Tom Rasmussen told KIRO-710 radio that three of the four proposals include updates to the arena, home to the Seattle SuperSonics basketball team. The council is taking a "buffet-style" approach to the proposals and could combine parts of each. City voters could see a funding measure on the ballot by November of 2010.

"Whether or not the Sonics stay, there are going to be some significant changes that need to be made to KeyArena just to keep it operating," Rasmussen told the radio station. "Those run about $33 million."

Then there’s the 60-year-old Memorial Stadium, home to high school football games and the Bumbershoot Festival. It could be razed and possibly replaced with an athletic field that could serve as a major amphitheatre during the summer. However, it was dedicated in 1947 to students who were killed in World War II and two activists are already standing in opposition to the plan, according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

"As long as I’m on it, nothing is going to happen to that stadium," 77-year-old Guy Gallipeau told the paper, adding that he stopped a similar demolition plan 15 years ago.

"All these guys showed up [at City Council chambers] with their red jackets and medals, and the city didn’t want anything to do with it," Gallipeau said. "They dropped the whole idea right then and there."