Washington State

House of Representatives

Office of Program Research



Ways & Means Committee

SSB 6574

This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.

Brief Description: Authorizing certain cities in which stadium and exhibition centers are located to impose admissions taxes in limited circumstances.

Sponsors: Senate Committee on Ways & Means (originally sponsored by Senators Kohl-Welles, Frockt and Kline).

Brief Summary of Substitute Bill

  • Allows a city with a stadium and exhibition center to impose an admissions tax on sporting events conducted at the center by a state college or university that has temporarily closed a similar facility.

Hearing Date: 2/24/12

Staff: Jeffrey Mitchell (786-7139).


When the stadium and exhibition center was built in Seattle, now known as Century Link Field, one of the funding mechanisms for the financing of the construction was an admissions tax at the facility. King County may levy an admissions tax up to 10 percent on events at the facility. The revenues from the admissions tax go towards paying bonds on the construction of the stadium and when the bonds are retired they go to pay for repair, reequipping and capital improvements. The rate of the admissions tax currently imposed is 3.1 percent.

The city of Seattle currently has an admissions tax for entertainment or recreation events at the rate of 5 percent. However, the city is precluded under state law from imposing its tax at Century Link Field.

During the 2012 football season, the University of Washington will play its home games at Century Link Field while Husky Stadium is going through a renovation.

Summary of Bill:

The city of Seattle is allowed to collect an admissions tax at Century Link Field during 2012 on admissions to college or university games that are played at that location due to the temporary closure of a similar facility owned by a college or university. The city may impose a maximum admissions tax of 5 percent at these events and the county may not impose an admissions tax at these events.

Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Not requested.

Effective Date: The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the session in which the bill is passed.