Seattle Storm training facility could be coming to Interbay

The Seattle Storm may be building its new training facility in Interbay.

The Seattle City Council on Monday unanimously passed an ordinance that lays the groundwork for a new Seattle Storm training facility to be built just south of Ballard in Interbay.

Councilmembers Dan Strauss and Debora Juarez introduced the bill (Council Bill 120149), which amends the size limits and parking requirements for indoor sports and recreation uses in the Ballard-Interbay-Northend Manufacturing/Industrial Center (BINMIC).

“By passing this legislation, a team like the Seattle Storm can build local facilities including in Interbay,” Mayor Jenny A. Durkan said in a statement. “Seattle is proud to be home to the four-time champions, the Seattle Storm, and legendary sports leaders like Sue Bird who inspire our community both on and off the court. We can ensure generations of young girls and our city will root for the Seattle Storm for years to come with the new Climate Pledge Arena and a new practice facility.”

From the OPCD’s Director’s Report

Seattle Storm has an impressive track record: The team has one four WNBA championships, making them the most decorated of all regional professional sports teams.

Despite its success, the team has been sharing the facilities at Seattle Pacific University for practice.

“Title IX doesn’t stop at training facilities. The Seattle Storm, four-time national champions, have fought hard for 40,000 extra square feet on a property they already own,” Councilmember Juarez said. “Sue Bird, four-time national champion and five-time Olympic gold medalist, said it best, ‘facilities tip the scales’ to attract and retain world-class players. Today’s vote tipped the scales in favor of equity and support for our Seattle Storm.”

The bill will allow indoor sports and recreation uses up to 50,000 square feet on General Industrial lots in the BINMIC meeting the following locational characteristics: 

  • At least 500 feet from shorelines; 
  • Within 300 feet of Neighborhood Commercial (NC) or Seattle Mixed (SM) zones; 
  • Within a quarter-mile of a park with active recreation uses such as sports fields or sports courts; and, 
  • Not within a mile of another indoor sports and recreation use in the BINMIC that exceeds 25,000 square feet in size. 

According to the council, the properties that meet these requirements are predominantly located near W Dravus Street, west of 15th Avenue W in Interbay as shown in the Office of Planning and Community Development (OPCD) Director’s Report on the proposed amendment. These sites will be near the future Ballard light rail extension and Interbay light rail station.

“The proposal we adopted today could allow the Seattle Storm or another business to build a practice facility in Seattle,” Councilmember Strauss said.

“The bill we passed today does not change zoning or uses allowed within zones. The Seattle Storm has brought home more major championships than any other team in Seattle. They’ve had our back, representing Seattle at the highest levels of basketball nationally and around the world and it is important that we have their back too.”

Photo: Neil Enns/Seattle Storm