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The public benefits of Seattle Arena, part 2

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What's that? You read part 1 and now you want to see more public benefits of Seattle Arena? Well you are in luck! There's actually an entire PDF dedicated solely to public benefits! Here are some of the highlights from said document:

The arena will create a publicly available open space. Since the city is taking ownership of the land and arena, this will not be considered a "Privately Owned Public Space" (POPS) and will be open to First Amendment expression per city law. The public space will measure 31,800 square feet - 7,300 square feet more than Pioneer Square and 3,200 less than Occidental Park - and feature permanent seating, 10,800 square feet of community area, and a "living machine."

The living machine is a sewage treatment system (stick with me) meant to recreate the organic cleansing systems of the wetlands. It will treat water for re-use within the building including toilet flushing and irrigation (no, not the water fountains). Major elements of the living machine include:

  • 99% reduction in wastewater
  • Removing 4 million gallons of sewer each year from the overflowing combined sewer system (not required by code)
  • District opportunity as the reclaimed water system is scalable to serve parcels to the north
  • Educational opportunities

The plaza area will also feature events year-round, be they "sports-related, food related, games, health & wellness, music, art & culture, sustainability, [or] regional," and most will be free to the public.

Arena Plaza Uses

ArenaCo will also make improvements to all of the surrounding streets around Seattle Arena. These improvements include, but are not limited to:

  • Street realignments of S Massachusetts and S Holgate streets
  • Concrete, granite, and asphalt resurfacing and repair
  • Sidewalk widening
  • Curb, gutter, and drainage improvements
  • Addition of trees
  • Addition of rain gardens
  • Addition of pedestrian lighting

ArenaCo would also provide upgrades to bike trails leading to the arena, such as the Atlantic Street multi-use trail (including adding a bike signal at the S Atlantic St crossing), the Utah Ave greenway, and the Holgate multi-use trail, among others.


They will also provide wayfinding signage for the bike trails, as well as around SODO and downtown. In all, 15 pieces of signage and an information kiosk will be installed.


Another (major) public benefit would be the construction of a pedestrian and bicycle bridge along S Holgate St from 3rd Ave S to 1st Ave S. The bridge would be over 700' long and 14' wide and would be open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for pedestrians and cyclists to traverse across the train tracks. There would be stairs and ramps at each landing and direct access to the arena. It would be over 25' tall and feature an overhead cage, in accordance with BNSF requirements.


Public art is another big factor in construction around Seattle. If you look at Safeco Field or the new Capitol Hill Light Rail station, you'll notice big, elegant art installations. Seattle Arena would be no different, as 1.5% of the total budget would go towards public art in the plaza, along the pedestrian bridge, and surrounding the arena. A Public Art Manager would be hired and a Standing Art Advisory Committee would be assembled to select both temporary and permanent works to be displayed.