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New Seattle Center Skate Plaza Offers Outstanding, Multi-level Skateboarding Experience

Seattle Center is pleased to announce the grand opening of Seattle Center Skate Plaza. The 18,000 square-foot outdoor facility located in a span of public right-of-way between 5th Ave N and Taylor Ave along Thomas St, is primed to provide an outstanding, multi-level skateboarding experience. It replaces Seattle Center Skatepark, which closed in 2018.  

The new Skate Plaza represents a multi-pronged, partnered effort to fulfill a commitment to the Seattle skateboarding community to continue to provide an exceptional and 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 2009 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. Seattle Center engaged the skating community in 2009 to build a new park atop the catering facilities for KeyArena. The Center reached out again in 2019, working closely with the Seattle Center Skatepark Coalition and particularly Skate Like a Girl, to design a street-style skateboarding facility that offers flexible space for beginner-level skateboarders to learn and practice skills. 

“Skate parks at Seattle Center have provided young people with an enthusiasm for boarding the opportunity to build and hone their skills, where they can enjoy healthy social engagement and enliven a portion of the streetscape,” said Seattle Center Director Robert Nellams. “I want to thank and commend our skateboarding partners for their patience and perseverance over the years and thank Oak View Group for their financial contribution.”  

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 to Seattle Center for purposes of constructing, operating and maintaining a public skate plaza. 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 Seattle Department of Transportation is proud to partner with the Seattle Center and organizations like Skate Like a Girl and the Seattle Center Skatepark Coalition to continue the legacy of skateboarding and community building.” said Sam Zimbabwe, SDOT Director. “Since the early 90s, skateboarding at the Seattle Center has provided people a positive space to be creative and stay active. With the permanent closure of Broad St, we are honored to have played a role in continuing to make active community spaces a reality in Seattle.” 

The nonprofit Skate Like A Girl will serve as community programming partner for the Skate Plaza, continuing a partnership launched with Seattle Center Skatepark. The Plaza plays an important part in the Center’s purpose, to inspire the spirit and build stronger communities. To learn more about activities at Seattle Center, and to connect to virtual Seattle Center experiences, visit or call 206 684-7200.  

About Seattle Center: 

Connect to the extraordinary at Seattle Center, an active civic, arts and family gathering place in the core of our region and home to Climate Pledge Arena at Seattle Center. 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.