For the last 20 years, the Public Facilities District has had a strong record of careful oversight and stewardship of the publicly-owned ballpark. The proposed lease extension strengthens the PFD’s role to ensure that the ballpark continues to be maintained and improved. The comments of Superior Court Judge Terrence Carroll, a former PFD member, omit that the new lease requires that the Mariners invest $600 million to keep the aging publicly owned building in first-class condition. The new lease obligates the Mariners to share its revenue — a guaranteed stream of funding that will contribute to keeping the ballpark one of the best in the country.
I disagree with Judge Carroll’s comments about the lack of detailed financial information provided by the Mariners. Each year, the team provides the PFD with audited financial statements and access to original records. Not once in my experience did the Mariners try to obfuscate or shirk their obligations.
The successful public-private partnership between the PFD and the Mariners has resulted in the creation and preservation of one of our region’s most important assets. The new lease will ensure the ballpark remains a source of community pride for generations to come.
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Jose Gaitán, Seattle, former chairman of the Washington State Major League Baseball Stadium Public Facilities District