King County ready to make final Kingdome payment

SEATTLE -- The Kingdome, which was demolished in 2000 to make room for what is now CenturyLink Field, is about to be finally paid off.

King County had to borrow money to make repairs to the stadium after ceiling tiles broke off and fell in the hours before a Seattle Mariners game against the Orioles in July of 1994.

The emergency repairs took four months to complete and forced the Mariners to play the next month's games on the road until the season ended with a work stoppage in August. The Seahawks also had to play a few games at Husky Stadium that fall.

The bonds were due to be paid off in December 2015, but Dwight Dively with King County says they expect to have enough funds from the hotel/motel tax to make the payment in March -- though technically the bonds won't be officially retired until December.

Dively says the county has brought in more money than expected the past few years from strong tourism and conventions. He said the recent Seahawks run and home playoff games have helped to contribute to the tax boon.

State Law requires that once the Kingdome bonds are paid, the hotel tax money for the rest of this year will go 4Culture -- the county's arts and culture organization. Starting next year, the tax will funnel into paying off CenturyLink bonds.
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