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12th Man Flag Flies High Over Renton

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

August 14, 2008

For more information contact:
Preeti Shridhar, City of Renton, 425-430-6569
Alex Pietsch, Administrator, Department of Community and Economic Development, 425-430-6592
Suzanne Dale Estey, Economic Development Director, 425-430-6591

RENTON -- The Seahawks have landed, and the entire Renton community is celebrating. To welcome the Seattle Seahawks to their spectacular new facility in Renton, the City of Renton is commemorating the team’s arrival by proudly flying the 12th Man flag high above Renton City Hall. 12th Man flags are raised throughout the city as a sign of support for the Seahawks. Local businesses, organizations and fans are proudly displaying “Renton Welcomes the Seahawks” cheer cards and city staff, downtown merchants and residents are donning number 12 buttons to show their support for the team. Fans can download cheer cards from the city’s website at rentonwa.gov.

The Renton Community Marketing Campaign has teamed up with the Seattle Seahawks to launch this city-wide welcome campaign.

“Renton is now a destination city, thanks to this magnificent, new state-of-the-art waterfront facility,” said Renton’s Mayor Denis Law.  “We are thrilled to welcome the Seahawks and I encourage the entire community to join us in celebrating their arrival.”

Renton officially becomes the home of the Seattle Seahawks this month when the team begins practicing at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center (VMAC), the new Seattle Seahawks Headquarters and Training Facility. The new 225,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility is the second largest in the National Football League. Nestled on 19 acres along the shores of Lake Washington, the facility offers three outdoor playing fields and an indoor practice field that is one of a kind. The spacious facility also includes 50,000 square feet of training space, 15,000 square feet of player meeting space, 48,000 square feet of administrative office space, a 6,700-square-foot locker room, a two-story weight room, and unparalleled views of Lake Washington.

“This new facility marks a new era for the Seahawks and we are very excited to make Renton our new home,” said Tod Lieweke, Seahawks Chief Executive Officer. “The warm welcome of the Renton community personifies the spirit of the 12th Man.”

The city recently renamed a portion of Ripley Lane/Hazelwood Lane “Seahawks Way” in recognition of its new corporate neighbor. The new Seahawks Way represents approximately 1,900 square feet from the intersection of the current Ripley Lane with Lake Washington Blvd. to the northern boundary of the new Seattle Seahawks headquarters.

“This is a landmark location and not only does it provide our favorite team with a spectacular home in Renton but also provides significant, long-term benefits to our city and community,” said Renton City Council President Marcie Palmer.

The Renton Community Marketing Campaign partners include the City of Renton, Renton Chamber of Commerce, Renton Visitors Connection, Renton School District, Renton Technical College, and Valley Medical Center. The partnership has been recognized nationally for its “Ahead of the Curve” brand and as one of the first in a trend of communities working to market themselves.

“The Seahawks’ move to Renton is a great boost to area businesses and our economy, and is going to have a significant impact on the city,” said Bill Taylor, President, Renton Chamber of Commerce. 

Local businesses are already enjoying increased economic activity because of the arrival of the Seahawks. “Our business is already benefitting from the Seahawks coming to town - we got their first catering job for their first event here.  We see a lot of potential,” said Dean Strodtbeck, owner of Cedar River Smokehouse, a downtown Renton restaurant.

Team members will be moving into the new facility on August 18.  The new facility will host the Seahawks training camp in 2009, which will provide fans the opportunity to watch practices.