Seattle’s Memorial Stadium Dispute

A dilapidated football stadium on the edge of the Seattle Center can finally come down thanks to a tentative agreement reached with the city’s public school district, but at least one veterans’ group is not happy.

Memorial Stadium, which honors 762 local high school alumni that died in World War II, is to be torn down and replaced with underground parking and a transit center, a park and a smaller stadium. It is used mostly for high school sports, but does host an occasional concert.

Seattle’s city council will hear details of the agreement Dec. 7 while the Seattle School Board scheduled a meeting Dec. 3. Both bodies must OK the agreement, which has drawn the wrath of the American Legion Seattle Post 1.

Post commander Frank Albin and others have fought recurring plans to demolish Memorial Stadium, and aren’t satisfied that the wall of 762 engraved names would be moved. Veterans say the entire grounds constitute the memorial, not just the wall.

“It certainly is of great importance to people who understand and who were around in World War II,” he told Seattle’s KIRO-TV. “A lot of people have strong feelings about the stadium and the memorial as one entity.”