County hotel/motel tax revenues needed to support ShoWare Center

We support providing funds from King County hotel/motel tax revenues for the accesso ShoWare Center.

The ShoWare is North America’s first sports and entertainment arena to achieve gold certification from Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design by the U.S. Green Building Council. Due to its intimate design and flexible scale, the ShoWare Center is the ideal venue for a wide variety of events including concerts, family shows, professional and exhibition sports, trade shows, community gatherings and more.

The ShoWare is a huge community asset hosting community events such as the Kent International Festival, regional community events and graduations for local high schools and universities in the South Puget Sound area. In addition, the ShoWare is home to the Seattle Thunderbirds hockey team, Seattle Mist women’s indoor football team and the Tacoma Stars indoor soccer team.

Having opened in the heart of the Great Recession, the ShoWare has struggled to gain financial success and is just now starting to see limited financial gains. The building, which opened in 2009, lacked profitability for the first nine years. However, funds from the King County hotel/motel tax would go a long way to continue the highly successful public-private partnership investment that has built an amazing community asset and world-class sports and events facility in our community serving the South Sound.

It’s important to remember that the hotel/motel tax was created as a professional sports facility funding mechanism. It was passed back in 1967 to pay for the Kingdome, and currently 100 percent of the revenue is being used to pay off the construction costs of CenturyLink Field. Dedicating a small portion of this revenue source to maintain our public investment in the ShoWare Center, which houses three sports teams for Seattle, is a very reasonable step.

We urge King County Council members to keep the ShoWare Center in mind when exploring options for the hotel/motel tax funds. Bringing people to our area through events is vital in the continued success and building of hotel/motel tax funds for the future. And the ShoWare Center plays a key role.

– Andrea Keikkala, CEO, Kent Chamber of Commerce

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