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Monday, May 8, 2006 - Page updated at 12:00 AM


Hawks off to Renton in 2008

Seattle Times staff reporters

KIRKLAND — The Seahawks will be in new digs come 2008, as plans to build a 120,000-square-foot facility have been confirmed.

The new team headquarters will be constructed on land owned by Seahawks owner Paul Allen along the Renton waterfront on the southeastern shore of Lake Washington.

The facility will be built on a 20-acre site in an area called Port Quendall, Seahawks spokeswoman Suzanne Lavender confirmed Sunday night.

An official announcement is expected in the coming days.

The Renton facility will be almost three times larger than the current headquarters in Kirkland. And it will be privately financed by Allen, with groundbreaking set for this October.

Port Quendall was the former site of a creosote and tar plant that was contaminated with toxic chemicals until Vulcan, one of Allen's companies, worked with the state Department of Ecology to clean it.

Renton City Council president Randy Corman said he expects the Seahawks to bring the city more visibility and help with development efforts along the waterfront.

"We're very excited about it," he said. "As council president, it's quite affirming, because we're working really hard on economic redevelopment."

Corman said the Seahawks approached Renton about the site following an "aggressive marketing campaign" by the city.

Training camp will also move to Renton, but the team will spend this summer and next summer at Eastern Washington University in Cheney, where the Seahawks have had camp since 1997.

The new headquarters will also feature an indoor practice facility that is not included in the 120,000 square footage. In Kirkland, the team uses an inflatable bubble dome as its indoor practice area during inclement weather.

The team has operated out of Kirkland in a building adjacent to Northwest University since June 1986 after moving its headquarters from its original site near the Kirkland waterfront.

The Seahawks will be going the way of almost half of the 31 other NFL teams, which now have facilities big enough to conduct training camp and accommodate fans attending camp rather than have to prepare for the season at a remote location.

"I do like to be near our fans," Seahawks president Tim Ruskell said at training camp last summer. "I like them to be able to see our team and interact and get excited about the season; that's one aspect. But you have to have the right facilities and accommodations."

Kirkland City Council member Mary-Alyce Burleigh said her city will be sorry to see the Seahawks move, but she said the team doesn't have room to spread out on its 10-acre property in Kirkland.

"We understand why they would be leaving," she said. "Where they are now is a very constricted site."

Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company




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