Stadium Funding A Hard Sell Politicians May Not Be Swayed By Mariners’ Stirring Finish
Euphoria over the Seattle Mariners’ first division championship was quickly replaced by a dose of reality in the halls of the Capitol on Tuesday, as lawmakers summoned back by leadership voiced numerous concerns about using state money to pay for a new Mariners stadium.
Political leadership spent the day trying to cajole rank-and-file members into supporting the $285 million stadium.
At the end of the day, it appeared members of the Senate were generally inclined to help pay for the stadium, although Republicans and Democrats differed on how to come up with the money. In the House, which is dominated by fiercely antitax Republicans, finding the requisite 50 votes appeared problematic.
The only issue that appears to be settled is that the Legislature will deal only with the baseball stadium in a special session. King County’s need for $70 million for repairs to the Kingdome roof and at least $100 million to improve the Kingdome for the Seahawks was off the table.
As legislative leaders met with their members, Gov. Mike Lowry said he wants to call lawmakers back for a special session within the next two weeks.
Lowry wants the Legislature to act by mid-October in order to allow time for the Metropolitan King County Council to approve a probable local tax increase to come up with its share of the total ballpark price tag.