Find Posts By Topic

Economic Impact Study Released

Key findings released today in An Economic Impact Study of Seattle Center in King County 2016 (click for video) reveal how Seattle Center has evolved as a vital activity and entertainment hub that contributes significantly to the economic health of surrounding neighborhoods, the city of Seattle and the wider region.

The Economic Impact Study (EIS), conducted over a period of several months during the last calendar year, looked at a number of factors to determine the economic impact of Seattle Center including: revenue generation on the grounds, business and visitor spending, employment, tax revenues and visitor trends and levels.

The EIS determined that combined spending of Seattle Center visitors and businesses created $1.864 billion in business activity, 18,621 jobs and $631 million in labor income in King County. As a result, state and local governments received $90 million in tax revenues. Business activity conducted by this City of Seattle department, combined with that of the many non-profit and for-profit businesses on the grounds, generated total revenue at Seattle Center of $303 million and directly employed 7,446 people.

The Study shows Seattle Center as a major regional destination, with a larger percentage of visitors coming from outside the region, 44 percent from out-of-state and 14% from other parts of the state, than from King County, from where 42 percent visit. This large out-of-region draw establishes Seattle Center as an important economic driver for the region, with business activities that produce substantial “new money” economic impacts, those related to sales or income originating outside King County that would not occur if the activities at Seattle Center were not present. New money yielded $1.182 billion in business activity, 10,625 jobs, $381 million in labor income and $65 million in tax revenues.

“Financial success is critical to fulfilling our purpose at Seattle Center, to delight and inspire individuals and build strong communities. The statistics and stories contained in the Study demonstrate our reach and impact economically; and ultimately, speak to our effectiveness in serving Seattle residents and the region as a whole,” said Seattle Center Director Robert Nellams.

The Economic Impact Study, supported by Seattle Center Foundation and prepared by Dr. William B. Beyers of the University of Washington Department of Geography and GMA Research, updates one conducted ten years prior, when the NBA Seattle Sonics still played at KeyArena. The Study shows a resulting revenue loss from the departure of the NBA team, which is largely offset by the growth of other activities in KeyArena and on the grounds. The EIS also verified over 12 million visits to Seattle Center annually.

“Seattle Center Foundation actively inspires broad community engagement to support and promote the evolution of Seattle Center, so we are pleased that the Economic Impact Study verifies Seattle Center’s role as a strong economic contributor in our region,” said Jane Zalutsky, Seattle Center Foundation Executive Director.

 An Economic Impact Study of Seattle Center in King County 2016 contains important data and insight to help Seattle Center maintain economic health and sustainability so that it may continue to serve the community in extraordinary ways long into the future. To learn more about the EIS, visit or call 206-684-7200.