SPECIAL EVENT PERMIT FEES


IN THIS SECTION

Categories

Types

Prior-Year Discount

Estimating Fees

Policies

Late Fees

Payments

Refunds


Permit Fees by Event Category


The Special Event Permit fees structure was created by Seattle Municipal Code 15.52.070, and is based on a fee-for-use model. This means event organizers pay fees for the space and services they use, regardless of the number of attendees.  

Special Event Permit fees can differ according to the Event Category the event is assigned.  Each event's category is determined by the Special Event Committee based on review of the event activity.  

Event Type  Application Fee  Administrative Fee  Police Department Fee 
Community  Yes  Yes  No 
Parade 
Commercial  Yes  Yes  Yes 
Athletic 

 

*For information on fees for Free Speech, Mixed Free Speech, and Citywide event categories, contact the Special Events Office.  

Fee Types

There are three basic Special Event Permit fee types: Application Fee, Administrative Fee, and Police Department Fee.  

Application Fee - Applies to all community, parade, commercial, and athletic events  $75 fee due with application.  

Administrative Fee - Applies to all community, parade, commercial, and athletic events  

Right of Way Fees:  Fee based on event footprint in public right-of-ways (excluding Parks and Seattle Center). Measured by the type (e.g. principal arterial, access street) and number of streets occupied, intersected, and length of time closed to public/traffic and/or use of public waterways.  

Commercial Vendor Fees: A $20 per commercial sales vendor fee (not assessed to commercial sales vendors operating on Parks property, Seattle Center property, or private property) 

Alcohol Sales Areas (Beer Gardens):  $200 ($100 each additional) alcohol sales area 

Waterway Use:  $600 waterway use.  

Police Department Fee - Applies only to commercial and athletic events  Event organizers required to pay $67 per hour per officer (minimum two hours) for Seattle Police Department (SPD) officers providing traffic control services and safety/security services at the event. Number of officers and amount of officer time required to be paid by event organizer will be determined in advance by SPD and Special Events Committee in consultation with event organizer.  

Other Fees

Event organizers will continue to be required to pay related costs directly to City departments including, but not limited to: hourly staff/inspection fees, Parks use Fees, Fire Department fees.  Late fees and change fees may also be assessed.  

Prior-Year Discount  

For annual events taking place in materially the same time, place, and manner as the previous year, a 25% discount will be applied to the Administrative Fee. Not applicable to vendor fees, alcohol fees, or Police Department fees. Seattle Municipal Code does not authorize any other discounts or fee waivers for Community, Parade, Commercial, or Athletic events.  

Estimating Fees

To assist with event organizer advance cost planning, the Special Events Office has created a Special Events Permit Fee Estimator that can be used for all community, parade, commercial, and run/walk/ride events. 

Estimator Form and Instructions

The Estimator is used in tandem with the Seattle Arterial Classifications Planning Map.  

The Estimator is intended for event organizer use only.  The Estimator should not be submitted to the Special Events Office unless you are requested to do so.  Special Event Permit fees will be assessed by the Special Events Committee and invoiced by the Special Events Office.   

Fee Policies

Application Fee -- The application fee of $75 is due at the time the application is submitted. This fee is non-refundable.  

Administrative Fee -- The administrative fee consists of the fees associated with Street/Bridge Use, Waterway Use, Alcohol Areas, and Vendors. The minimum administrative fee is $200.    

Street Use Fee 

  • A street segment is a portion of a street between two intersections. 
  • An intersection is where two or more streets join.
  • The junction of an alley with a street is NOT considered an intersection. 
  • Street segments fees are based on street classification as determined by Seattle Department of Transportation and presented in the Street Classification Map
  • Street segments in the downtown core are considered principal arterials regardless of the actual street classification. 
  • The fee per hour is charged, rounded up to the nearest ½ hour, based on the amount of time the street is planned to be closed or modified to traffic. 
  • Hours between the time of 12:00 AM and 6:00 AM are not included in the count if the event is 30 hours or longer. 
  • A fee is charged for arterials that are intersected by the street closure. 
  • Intersections are counted only if the closed or occupied streets will block a full arterial intersection. 
  • If half of the intersected street is an arterial and the other half is an access street, it is not included in the count. 
  • A street is not intersected if it ends at the closed street (also known as a "T" intersection). 
  • If the closed street intersects a street with one type of arterial on one side and a different type of arterial on the other side, the lower level arterial is utilized for the count.  

Waterway Use

  • There is a flat fee of $600 charged to Special Events that use public waterways (such as Lake Union, Green Lake, Ship Canal, etc.) as part of the event

Alcohol Area Fees 

  • The Fire Marshal's Office reviews plans for beer gardens or other alcohol service areas to ensure they meet Fire Code and to establish a maximum safe occupancy numbers. 
  • The fee for an alcohol service area is $200. The fee for additional alcohol services areas at the same event are $100 per separate area. 
  • Special Event Permit fees DO NOT include any fees for the permits or licenses required by the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board.  

Vendor Fees 

  • There is a $20 fee per vendor for events providing or renting space to vendors selling or promoting products or services. 
  • The fee applies only to vendors selling or promoting a commercial product or commercial service on City-owned property, including a street, sidewalk, or other right-of-way. 
  • The fee does not apply to vendors with non-sales-related or non-commercial-related actions, such as a non-profit or government agency that is providing information only.  

Police Department Fee 

  • A fee is charged to athletic and commercial events for any police officers on-site at the event. 
  • The fee is $67 per hour per officer, with a 2 hour per officer minimum. 
  • The number of hours per officer are rounded up to the nearest ½ hour.  

Late Fees

  • If a Seattle Special Event application is received less than 60 days prior to the proposed event start date, late fees apply. 
  • The application fee is increased to $150. 
  • The administrative fee is increased to be 120 percent of the administrative fee calculated as if the event's application were submitted on time.  

Payments

  • All Special Event Permit fees are due no later than 30 days prior to the event start date. The Special Event Permit cannot be issued until payment is received in full. 
  • Payment may be made by check, by credit card (Visa or MasterCard only), or cash (exact amount only). 
  • Credit card payments should be made by calling the number indicated on the invoice. You should never email your credit card information. 
  • Checks can be mailed or hand-delivered to the Special Events Office. 
  • Cash payment can be made in person only at the Special Events Office during normal business hours.  

Refunds

  • Event organizers may apply for a refund to the Special Events Office within 30 days after the original event start date. 
  • Requests for refunds must be in writing and accompanied by documentation supporting the fee adjustment. Email requests are acceptable.  

Application Fee 

  • The application fee is non-refundable.  

Event Cancellation 

  • If the permit has not been issued, the total administrative and police fees will be refunded at 100%. 
  • If the permit was issued but the event is cancelled by the Special Events Committee for a reason outside of the event organizer's control, the total administrative and police fees will be refunded at 100%. 
  • If the permit was issued but the event is cancelled by the event organizer at least 3 business days before the event start date, the administrative fee will be refunded at 50% and the police department fee will be refunded at 100%. 
  • If the permit was issued but the event is cancelled by the event organizer during the 3 business days before the event start date, the administrative fee is non-refundable and the police department fee will be refunded at 90%.  

Police Department Fee Adjustment 

  • If the actual number of police officers and/or the number of police hours at the event are different from the invoice amounts, a fee adjustment can be made. 
  • The Special Events Office will verify the actual number of officers and hours with official Seattle Police Department records. 
  • If the actual number of officers or hours at the event is less, a refund will be issued for the fee amount overpaid at 100%. 
  • If the actual number of officers or hours at the event is greater, an invoice will be issued for the fee amount underpaid at 100%.  

Vendors 

  • If the actual number of vendors at the event different from the invoice amounts, a fee adjustment can be made. 
  • Any request for refund should be accompanied by a vendor list noting the changes to the previous list(s) submitted. Additional documentation may be requested. 
  • If the actual number of vendors at the event is less, a refund will be issued for the fee amount overpaid at 100%. 
  • If the actual number of vendors at the event is greater, an invoice will be issued for the fee amount underpaid at 100%.