Did You Know?

It Takes a Village to Build a Skatepark

We’ve just completed Seattle Center Skate Plaza, an 18,000 square-foot skateboard facility located in a section of Broad St between 5th and Taylor avenues north vacated to make way for the SR-99 Tunnel.  

The new Skate Plaza fulfilled a commitment to the Seattle skateboarding community to provide a versatile skateboarding experience at Seattle Center. Built by Grindline Skateparks over the past year, the Skate Plaza encompasses a public alleyway, with skating spaces on either side, connected by a sidewalk. The area houses a glass art installation, including a glass wallride, originally created for the Skatepark by artist Perri Howard.  

The Skate Plaza continues a history of skateboarding at Seattle Center that began in the 1990s, when a skatepark was created in an under-utilized parking lot, now the world headquarters of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In 2009, a new park was built atop the catering facilities for KeyArena. Once the arena was leased to a private entity, Seattle Center worked with the Seattle Center Skatepark Coalition and particularly Skate Like a Girl to design a street-style skateboarding facility for beginner-level skaters to learn and practice skills. 

Picture of someone skateboarding.

The effort required much help and several partners. Oak View Group contributed $500,000 to relocate the skatepark as part of its agreement with the City of Seattle to redevelop and manage Climate Pledge Arena. Seattle City Council approved transferal of the land from the Seattle Department of Transportation. Seattle Design Commission supported the project and reviewed the proposed design. Seattle City Light, Seattle Public Utilities and SDOT provided invaluable assistance throughout a challenging construction process. 

The Plaza plays an important part in the Center’s purpose, to inspire the spirit and build stronger communities. Stop by and check it out – and don’t forget your board! 

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About Seattle Center: 

Connect to the extraordinary at Seattle Center, an active civic, arts and family gathering place in the core of our region. More than 30 cultural, educational, sports and entertainment organizations that reside on the grounds, together with a broad range of public and community programs, create thousands of events on the 74-acre campus and attract over 12 million visitors each year. At Seattle Center, part of Uptown Arts & Cultural District, our purpose is to create exceptional events, experiences and environments that delight and inspire the human spirit to build stronger communities. Activities at the Center generate $1.864 billion in business activity and $631 million in labor income.