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An aerial map of Seattle Center in black and white, with some buildings shown but others as blank, gray tracts, with different areas numbered.
The Century 21 Exposition area, where another proposed stadium—other than the ones that ended up there—was proposed to be built. | Courtesy of the Washington State Archives

10 proposed Seattle football stadiums that were never built

Instead of Centurylink Field in Sodo, the Seahawks could be playing in a floating stadium

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The Century 21 Exposition area, where another proposed stadium—other than the ones that ended up there—was proposed to be built. | Courtesy of the Washington State Archives

It's hard to think of a time before there was professional football in Seattle, but it really wasn't that long ago. Before the Seahawks came to the city in 1976, Seattle had to figure out where to build a stadium worthy of a pro franchise, and that was no small task. Perhaps you've heard of the Seattle Process?

Seattle had its eye on a big stadium for decades and for various reasons, well-intentioned plans would often never materialize, get turned away by city and county officials, get rejected by voters, or perhaps a little bit of all three. Centurylink Field’s predecessor, the Kingdome, even got rejected before Seattle voters then rejected another idea and we circled back to plan A. There’s something perfect about that result for both the stadium and the city.

So, check out the list below of our favorite potential football stadiums that didn’t come to be and try to picture what it would be like if the Seahawks called Interbay, Seattle Center, or Tukwila home right now. Your gametime commute would sure be a lot different, especially if we’d have gone with that floating dome.

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1. Elliott Bay Floating Dome

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401 Elliott Ave W
Seattle, WA 98119

This is our favorite Seattle stadium that never was. Like so many big ideas in Seattle, this one came from the early ’60s around the time of the World's Fair. Construction magnate Howard S. Wright, Jr. proposed a domed stadium that would float in Elliott Bay on pontoons at the end of West Harrison Street. At the cost of about $22.4 million, it would hold 50,000 for baseball games and 65,000 to 70,000 for football games. The monorail would have extended past Seattle Center to meet it. Voters didn't support a $15 million bond proposal, the Seattle City Planning Commission issued a report advising against the project, and that was that.

A black-and-white pencil sketch shows a rounded building protruding into a bay with two ferries parked outside and skyscrapers in the background. Courtesy of the Seattle Municipal Archives, item No. 7216

2. Fort Lawton Stadium

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4570 Texas Way W
Seattle, WA 98199

Now, Seattle quibbles about whether or not to put affordable housing on the former military land at Fort Lawton, but once the city considered putting a stadium there. According to Sports Press NW, the city was looking at the spot for a stadium as early as 1938 as the military considered declaring the land surplus: “The fort had the space for all the parking a 60,000-seat stadium would need with room left for an 18-hole golf course and a scenic, shoreline park.”

The military would eventually give some of that land to the city in the 1970s, which became Discovery Park. The rest of the base closed up shop in 2005.

3. Interbay Dome

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2001 W Garfield St
Seattle, WA 98119

Around 1967, initial plans were made for a domed stadium on the 80-acre tract of land just north of Pier 91 in Interbay along 15th Avenue W. This was one of the potential options for the 1960s King County stadium proposal, but in the end it just didn't have the access or parking capabilities as some of the other proposals.

A bridge railing curves around, with wooden bridge supports below. Industrial buildings are in the distance to the left, and one small building is clearly visible to the right.
A view of Interbay from the Garfield Street Bridge in 1962,
Courtesy of the Seattle Municipal Archives, item No. 73620

4. Seattle Center Dome

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305 Harrison St
Seattle, WA 98109
(206) 684-7200
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Yes, the Seattle Center has Memorial Stadium and the former Key Arena, but there were once plans for a domed stadium on the campus This was one of the five finalists when the city was deciding their football stadium plans in the 1960s. Seattle Center actually initially got the nod from the Stadium Commission in 1968 but voters rejected the bond and a second commission eventually approved the Kingdome site.

An aerial map of Seattle Center in black and white, with some buildings shown but others as blank, gray tracts, with different areas numbered.
An early planning map of the Seattle Center campus includes what became Key Arena (1) and Memorial Stadium (4), plus an additional stadium (3).
Washington State Archives

5. 5th and Yesler Dome

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300 5th Ave
Seattle, WA 98104

Another one of the proposed stadiums in 1967, this one offered easy access to the freeway and was close enough to downtown to make it easy for businesspeople to head over. It was one of the five finalists but ultimately lost out to the Kingdome, which was closer to city center.

5th Avenue between Yesler and Jefferson in 1957.
Courtesy of the Seattle Municipal Archives, item No. 54256

6. South Park Stadium

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South Park almost became the once-future home of the Seahawks and Mariners. A proposed stadium between W Marginal Way & Route 509 at S Director Street was one of the initial finalists for the King County stadium proposal that ultimately went to the Kingdome. The South Park site was initially seen as one of the favorites due to it's ample space for parking.

A black-and-white photograph shows an aerial view of industrial buildings and homes.
South Park and the Duwamish Waterway in 1955.
Courtesy of the Seattle Municipal Archives, item No. 52639

7. Kent Stadium

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In 1963, Pacific Raceways had big ideas out in Kent, proposing a sports complex with an 80,000-seat stadium. The venture would have been privately funded and at least one stadium committee thought it was the cheapest and best site for the impending stadium. But Seattle wanted its Seattle stadium in Seattle, and that was that. Pacific Raceways still operates a track out of Kent, though.

8. Northrup Stadium in Bellevue

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When Seattle was still debating where its hockey and basketball stadium would be, some pushed for an eastside stadium—but they almost got their wish more than 50 years ago. A site at the Northup Way Interchange off 520 was one of the five finalists for King County's domed stadium—that is, the Kingdome—in the 1960s.

A highway winds through a wooded area, eventually turning into a bridge over a large lake. Skyscrapers are visible in the background.
Interstate 520 running through Bellevue in 2014.
Courtesy of WSDOT

9. Riverton stadium

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Riverton-Boulevard Park
Seattle, WA

The Riverton area, now part of Burien, almost had a shot at the Mariners and Seahawks during the King County domed stadium proposal chase of the 1960s. The plans were eventually scrapped due to the $50.5 million price tag.

10. Factoria Stadium

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Though it's unclear where exactly they were thinking, a proposal in the 1960s to put a domed stadium in Factoria made a lot of sense. It likely would have been right at the I-90 and I-405 exchange—around where Factoria Mall is—an ideal spot for commuters. It was one of the 15 finalists for the King County domed stadium, but it was eventually eliminated before the final five.

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1. Elliott Bay Floating Dome

401 Elliott Ave W, Seattle, WA 98119
A black-and-white pencil sketch shows a rounded building protruding into a bay with two ferries parked outside and skyscrapers in the background. Courtesy of the Seattle Municipal Archives, item No. 7216

This is our favorite Seattle stadium that never was. Like so many big ideas in Seattle, this one came from the early ’60s around the time of the World's Fair. Construction magnate Howard S. Wright, Jr. proposed a domed stadium that would float in Elliott Bay on pontoons at the end of West Harrison Street. At the cost of about $22.4 million, it would hold 50,000 for baseball games and 65,000 to 70,000 for football games. The monorail would have extended past Seattle Center to meet it. Voters didn't support a $15 million bond proposal, the Seattle City Planning Commission issued a report advising against the project, and that was that.

401 Elliott Ave W
Seattle, WA 98119

2. Fort Lawton Stadium

4570 Texas Way W, Seattle, WA 98199

Now, Seattle quibbles about whether or not to put affordable housing on the former military land at Fort Lawton, but once the city considered putting a stadium there. According to Sports Press NW, the city was looking at the spot for a stadium as early as 1938 as the military considered declaring the land surplus: “The fort had the space for all the parking a 60,000-seat stadium would need with room left for an 18-hole golf course and a scenic, shoreline park.”

The military would eventually give some of that land to the city in the 1970s, which became Discovery Park. The rest of the base closed up shop in 2005.

4570 Texas Way W
Seattle, WA 98199

3. Interbay Dome

2001 W Garfield St, Seattle, WA 98119
A bridge railing curves around, with wooden bridge supports below. Industrial buildings are in the distance to the left, and one small building is clearly visible to the right.
A view of Interbay from the Garfield Street Bridge in 1962,
Courtesy of the Seattle Municipal Archives, item No. 73620

Around 1967, initial plans were made for a domed stadium on the 80-acre tract of land just north of Pier 91 in Interbay along 15th Avenue W. This was one of the potential options for the 1960s King County stadium proposal, but in the end it just didn't have the access or parking capabilities as some of the other proposals.

2001 W Garfield St
Seattle, WA 98119

4. Seattle Center Dome

305 Harrison St, Seattle, WA 98109
An aerial map of Seattle Center in black and white, with some buildings shown but others as blank, gray tracts, with different areas numbered.
An early planning map of the Seattle Center campus includes what became Key Arena (1) and Memorial Stadium (4), plus an additional stadium (3).
Washington State Archives

Yes, the Seattle Center has Memorial Stadium and the former Key Arena, but there were once plans for a domed stadium on the campus This was one of the five finalists when the city was deciding their football stadium plans in the 1960s. Seattle Center actually initially got the nod from the Stadium Commission in 1968 but voters rejected the bond and a second commission eventually approved the Kingdome site.

305 Harrison St
Seattle, WA 98109

5. 5th and Yesler Dome

300 5th Ave, Seattle, WA 98104
5th Avenue between Yesler and Jefferson in 1957.
Courtesy of the Seattle Municipal Archives, item No. 54256

Another one of the proposed stadiums in 1967, this one offered easy access to the freeway and was close enough to downtown to make it easy for businesspeople to head over. It was one of the five finalists but ultimately lost out to the Kingdome, which was closer to city center.

300 5th Ave
Seattle, WA 98104

6. South Park Stadium

South Park, WA 98108
A black-and-white photograph shows an aerial view of industrial buildings and homes.
South Park and the Duwamish Waterway in 1955.
Courtesy of the Seattle Municipal Archives, item No. 52639

South Park almost became the once-future home of the Seahawks and Mariners. A proposed stadium between W Marginal Way & Route 509 at S Director Street was one of the initial finalists for the King County stadium proposal that ultimately went to the Kingdome. The South Park site was initially seen as one of the favorites due to it's ample space for parking.

7. Kent Stadium

Kent, WA 98032

In 1963, Pacific Raceways had big ideas out in Kent, proposing a sports complex with an 80,000-seat stadium. The venture would have been privately funded and at least one stadium committee thought it was the cheapest and best site for the impending stadium. But Seattle wanted its Seattle stadium in Seattle, and that was that. Pacific Raceways still operates a track out of Kent, though.

8. Northrup Stadium in Bellevue

Bellevue, WA
A highway winds through a wooded area, eventually turning into a bridge over a large lake. Skyscrapers are visible in the background.
Interstate 520 running through Bellevue in 2014.
Courtesy of WSDOT

When Seattle was still debating where its hockey and basketball stadium would be, some pushed for an eastside stadium—but they almost got their wish more than 50 years ago. A site at the Northup Way Interchange off 520 was one of the five finalists for King County's domed stadium—that is, the Kingdome—in the 1960s.

9. Riverton stadium

Riverton-Boulevard Park, Seattle, WA

The Riverton area, now part of Burien, almost had a shot at the Mariners and Seahawks during the King County domed stadium proposal chase of the 1960s. The plans were eventually scrapped due to the $50.5 million price tag.

Riverton-Boulevard Park
Seattle, WA

10. Factoria Stadium

Bellevue, WA

Though it's unclear where exactly they were thinking, a proposal in the 1960s to put a domed stadium in Factoria made a lot of sense. It likely would have been right at the I-90 and I-405 exchange—around where Factoria Mall is—an ideal spot for commuters. It was one of the 15 finalists for the King County domed stadium, but it was eventually eliminated before the final five.