Photos provided courtesy of Washington State Convention Center

Commerce recently completed an independent financial feasibility review of the Washington State Convention Center (WSCC). The $1.7 billion expansion includes completion of an additional facility with proposed construction beginning June 2018 in downtown Seattle. When completed, the nearly 1.5 million square foot facility will add 434,000 square feet of event space – more than doubling the event capacity of the existing WSCC convention facility situated one-half block away from the current location. Read the feasibility review here.

We hope this review will be helpful to the Washington State Convention Center Public Facilities District in completing the planned expansion.

Cover photos are from the Feasibility Study: Spokane Regional Sportsplex, as prepared by Sports Facilities Advisory, LLC (SFA) for the Spokane Public Facilities District (SPFD), November 2015

The Spokane Public Facilities District (SPFD) is planning to finance and construct a $42 million indoor sports complex (or Sportsplex) just north of downtown Spokane. The Sportsplex is anticipated to include a multi-purpose fieldhouse and possible icehouse to attract tournaments while also serving local community needs – complementing existing SPFD facilities of an arena, convention center and performing arts center. Read the feasibility review here.

What State Law Requires In a Feasibility Review

Commerce is implementing the public facilities district independent financial feasibility review, as required by Chapter 36.100.025 RCW. The requirement went into effect in 2012.

Our role is not to approve or reject a public facilities district’s plan. Rather, we are directed to contract for an independent review, which is intended to ensure that local decision makers have access to objective and timely analysis of the financial feasibility of the project.

State law further directs Commerce to make the review public upon its completion, and submit it to participating local governments, state elected officials, and the Legislature.

The law requires that an independent financial feasibility review must take place before:

  • A new PFD is formed.
  • A PFD issues new debt (not refinances existing debt).
  • The long-term lease, purchase, or development of a facility by a PFD.

The independent review must be conducted by Commerce through the Municipal Research and Services Center of Washington or through another state agency, educational institution, or private consulting firm.

The review “must examine the potential costs to be incurred by the public facilities district and the adequacy of revenues or expected revenues to meet those costs.” This potentially would include information from interlocal agreements between the public facilities district and other local governments, bond covenants, construction and operating contracts, business plans, and other such documents.

Typically, Commerce and the jurisdiction(s) will negotiate a cost-recovery agreement under the Interlocal Cooperation Act (RCW 39.34). We select and contract with an independent party to perform the review. Commerce pays the reviewer directly and the jurisdiction(s) reimburse us for the review and associated costs.

Other Municipal Finance-Related Programs

Feasibility Reviews

State Convention Center Feasibility Review Documents

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Angie Hong, Program Manager