- The Seattle Mariners had an agreement to sign a new lease on their stadium in exchange for public funds for stadium upkeep.
- However, the use of those funds has not yet been approved by the county city council, but the team says it will not sign a new lease without them.
- Despite this, the team is not yet threatening to relocate.
The Seattle Mariners organisation reportedly will not renew its lease on Safeco Field, which ends at the end of 2018, unless King County gives it $US180 million in public funds for stadium upkeep and improvements, according to a report from Josh Kelety in the Seattle Weekly.
An allocation of $US180 million had been announced in May, and not long after the team announced that, ” . . . it had agreed to terms on a potential new 25-year lease.” And private correspondence obtained by Seattle Weekly shows that the team made clear that its agreement to sign a new lease was contingent on getting that $US180 million.
However, members of the King County city council have opposed the plan, claiming that the funds, which are taken out of a lodging tax, could and should go to affordable housing. The proposal has not yet been brought to a vote in committee, but Kelety reports that a vote could come up in late August.
If the funds do not end up getting allocated to the stadium, then, according to Kelety, ” . . . a likely path forward would be to get a lease extension on the Mariners’ existing lease while new lease terms get re-negotiated.”
Furthermore, “While the Mariners have set a firm condition that the club will not sign a new lease in without the lodging-tax money, the team is not threatening to leave Seattle if it doesn’t get its way,” Kelety reported.
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