New venues, renovations and upgraded facilities have pushed Washington’s sports scene to the top
If you build it, they will come.
You’ll forgive the moderate modification to the classic quote from 1989’s Field of Dreams, but the same logic can be applied when looking at the sport facility landscape in the state of Washington. In recent years growth has been rampant and the Evergreen State has taken to the forefront in developing new facilities– as well as renovating its existing ones–to provide top-notch venues for athletes and fans.
Reign FC—formerly known as Seattle Reign FC and Seattle’s professional women’s soccer team—moved to Cheney Stadium in Tacoma in 2019, where they joined fellow tenants the Tacoma Defiance, the reserve team of the Seattle Sounders. The stadium seats 6,500 and also houses the Tacoma Rainiers of the Pacific Coast League, the Triple-A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners. The move made sense for both Reign FC and the Tacoma Defiance, but Cheney Stadium won’t be a permanent home for either of them.
Results of a feasibility study that would see a $300 million project to create a soccer stadium, sports complex and additional recreational fields on the property near Cheney Stadium, to be named the Heidelberg Sports Complex. The proposed complex would feature a 72,000-square-foot, 5,500 seat soccer stadium, a mixed use sports village and eight additional multipurpose fields throughout the complex.
Up the road from Tacoma in Seattle there’s plenty of buzz surrounding the city’s top flight facilities, which will soon include Seattle Center Arena.With an estimated 17,000-19,100 seats up for grabs and 750,000 square feet of space to play with, the arena—more new building than renovation—will be on the site of the old Key Arena, with a redesigned interior and the same iconic roof.
The new arena will cost somewhere between a reported $900 million and $930 million and will be home to the WNBA’s Seattle Storm, Seattle University basketball teams and the 32nd NHL franchise, which presently hasn’t chosen a moniker beyond NHL Seattle. The venue plans on hosting more than 140 events per year and will have seating charts of 17,300 for hockey as well as 18,600 for basketball.The city hopes that the new building will bring an NBA franchise back to Seattle.
Staying in Seattle, T-Mobile Park has made some changes since T-Mobile entered a 25-year deal to brand the ballpark in 2019. The ballpark upgraded its access to high-speed charging stations and now features 19 places throughout the stadium for fans to charge their phones. Additionally, the ballpark added new features like the Tech Experience Home Run Challenge and a signature cocktail, the Magenta Mojo.
Change is coming to the Tri-Cities area, where Pasco is renovating its boat launch at Schlagel Park on the Columbia River. The current boat launch was built in the 1950s and hasn’t been upgraded since the 1970s. The renovated boat launch is estimated to be complete by 2022. The city also plans to build the A Street Sports Complex in east Pasco, which is estimated to be completed by July of 2021. The first phase of the project will see the construction of three natural turf multipurpose fields, which can support soccer, lacrosse, rugby and ultimate Frisbee.
A new sports complex in Yakima will be one of the largest indoor sports facilities in Washington, with a projected opening of 2021. The Sozo Arena will hold up to four futsal courts, six basketball courts and eight volleyball courts and has an interior of 80,000 square feet to work with.
In July 2019 the city of Bellingham received a $350,000 state grant to build a new athletic field at Squalicum Creek Park, which will be used to build the fourth phase of the upcoming complex set there. The project will begin construction in 2020, with a completion date sometime in 2021. Meanwhile, the Bellingham Sportsplex plans to make renovations and improvements, including a new roof, insulation, bleachers, a sports bar on the second floor, an elevator and deigns to establish a sealed barrier between the ice side and the soccer side of the facility.
From Olympia to Snohomish County to Spokane, you’ll find great opportunities and facilities spread throughout the state to encompass all of your sports tournament needs. Come revel in the culture of lake and hiking life while attending a great sports event or tournament at any of Washington’s top-notch facilities.