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The City of Everett and Snohomish County are partnering with the owners of the Everett AquaSox to lead a public-private effort to investigate the feasibility of a new outdoor multipurpose facility located in the City of Everett. To that end, on September 28, 2022, the City and County passed Joint Resolution No. 22-056 in support of a new Everett outdoor multipurpose stadium. They are supported by the Seattle Mariners.
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From 1984 to 2020, the Everett Aquasox provided professional athletic events, business partnerships, local business impacts, community pride and entertainment for all ages and income levels as a Class A Short Season baseball team. They played about 35 home games per season, between late May and early September, at the Everett School District-owned Funko Field. They are currently affiliated with the Seattle Mariners, but originally, the AquaSox were affiliated with the San Francisco Giants.
In 2021, Major League Baseball reconfigured Minor League baseball, eliminating 40 teams and two levels of leagues. In the process, MLB promoted the Everett AquaSox to Class High-A, the third highest level of players and teams in Minor League Baseball.
• The Everett AquaSox season was extended from a short season (late-May to early-September) to a long season (mid-April to late-September). The AquaSox now play 66 home games, almost twice as many games as in a short season.
• The Everett AquaSox were given new stadium requirements. The MLB’s stadium requirements are expansive, affecting nearly every aspect of the stadium. The stadium upgrades are meant to provide more inclusive facilities, a better fan experience and foster a more professional working environment for the players and staff.
No stadium in Everett currently meets the standards required by Major League Baseball for a High-A minor league team. As such, we are evaluating the feasibility of rebuilding Funko Field to ensure it’s in compliance with MLB’s requirements and comparing that to the feasibility of constructing a new stadium on an alternative site. If the latter, then the current Funko Field would remain to serve the needs of the Everett School District and Everett Community College.
No. Significant scheduling challenges would persist even with a new stadium. Financing a new stadium could be challenging since the site is owned by the school district, not by the City of Everett. Finally, rebuilding Funko Field is estimated to require 12 – 18 months of displacement of the AquaSox, Everett School District, and Everett Community College teams.
The owners of the Everett AquaSox are willing to sign a lease of at least 30-years in length as an anchor tenant of a new Everett outdoor multipurpose stadium to play 66 games per year as well as make typical future physical improvements as required by MLB. The lease will be used to pay debt service and operational costs of the stadium.
Cities and counties are collections of residents who need safe, large, quality, and inclusive public places for fun, relaxation, local identity, entertainment, and celebrations. Quality public spaces capitalize on a city and county’s assets, inspiration, and potential to contribute to resident’s health, happiness, and wellbeing.
No. A new Everett outdoor multipurpose facility could ideally be used to host a wide range of entertainment and athletic events in addition to the anchor minor-league baseball tenant playing 66 games. Comparable facilities in the nation host well over 100 non-baseball events per year. Not only could a multipurpose facility provide a wonderful community amenity, but additional events could provide revenue to operate the stadium and create commerce for the surrounding community. If the current school district site is used, most of these additional events are the school-related events already planned; however, in partnership with the school district, there may be opportunities for additional outdoor entertainment activities and enhanced public access during the summer months.
Some of the benefits of a new Everett outdoor multipurpose facility could be: • Creating jobs from construction, maintenance, customer service, and engineering;
• Attracting residents who bring new spending power within the community;
• Growing tourism that further increases local spending and jobs within the community;
• Creating a multiplier effect on other venues within the city and county; and
• Improving the overall economy and attractiveness of the City of Everett and Snohomish County.
The following are the initial physical criteria:
• Any new outdoor multipurpose facility should be built and operated to be inclusive and accessible with a broad range of affordable opportunities.
• Any new outdoor multipurpose stadium should be built on a site that creates the strongest possible economic multiplier impact on the surrounding real estate, businesses, and venues.
• Any new outdoor multipurpose facility should meet the minimum stadium requirements of a High-A Minor League baseball club.
• The facility should provide 2,800 – 3,200 fixed seats for baseball fans and should easily convert to an “amphitheater” setting with up to 5,000 seats for a concert or community event.
• Robust public transportation should be available to the facility and sufficient parking should be provided or available within comfortable walking distance of the stadium.
Construction of a cost-effective minor league stadium will likely be between $60-80 million. The facility itself needs 7 – 8 acres of land area, and parking (if not available in adjacent areas) could double the area needed. Land cost is estimated between $20 – 40 million.
The City of Everett and Snohomish County are committed to build the stadium as a public-private partnership without raising taxes.