Mariners want $180M for Safeco Field expenses from King County, council member says

SEATTLE -- King County Councilmember Dave Upthegrove said he is opposing a controversial stadium funding proposal announced Wednesday that earmarks about $180 million in public dollars for Safeco Field over the next two decades.

“The proposal to earmark roughly $180 million in public funds for Safeco Field is the wrong priority. The Seattle Mariners are a profitable, private company that can and should pay their own expenses.

“We have an affordability crisis in our region and this money would be better spent on affordable housing and getting homeless kids off the street. It is outrageous that we’re considering spending $180 million public dollars to benefit a single business instead of folks who are struggling to get by.

“The proposal correctly notes the county is already spending the required minimum of hotel/motel taxes on housing, but that clearly isn’t enough. Yet we are now on the cusp of taking around $180 million that could be used to help families and homeless kids and instead choosing to give it to a professional sports stadium.”

The measure will now be up for deliberation at the King County Council.