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MARINERS TO STAY IN SEATTLE; BALLPARK GETS FINAL PASSAGE
Published October 24, 1995
The Metro King County Council voted 10-3 yesterday to adopt the state plan for financing a new baseball stadium, causing Mariners President John Ellis to state that the team's conditions for remaining in Seattle had been met, according to this morning's SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER. The ordinance states King County will not issue bonds to cover its share of the stadium's cost unless the county determines that neither the operating budget nor its bond rating would be affected by such a sale. The measure also establishes an independent financial review committee to evaluate the stadium's financial plan before the '97 session of the WA Legislature (Ed Penhale, SEATTLE POST- INTELLIGENCER, 10/24). In a release, Ellis hailed the "unique partnership" among team, state and county. Ellis: "The action today completes the incredible story of baseball here in 1995" (Mariners). WHAT'S NEXT? Immediately after passage, King County Exec Gary Locke and council members discussed setting up a task force to deal renovations to the Kingdome. Over the weekend, NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue sent a letter to the council stating that failure to address the Kingdome in the stadium legislation "creates an unlevel economic playing field for different major league franchises in Seattle" and add to "uncertainties" regarding the Seahawks' future (Ed Penhale, SEATTLE POST- INTELLIGENCER, 10/24). The Washington State Major League Baseball Stadium Facilities District should be in place by November 6. The District, which will negotiate the Mariners' long-term lease, will determine the site, architects, contractors and construction timetable. The state will begin the process of raising funds through the sale of license plates and scratch-off tickets. One lottery official noted that their hope to have a Mariners theme to the first ticket depends on cooperation from MLB (Angelo Bruscas, SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER, 10/24).