Friday, September 21, 2007

A New Husky Stadium by 2010?

Athletic Director Todd Turner, and his stadium committee led by former governor Dan Evans met with the media yesterday after presenting the plans to renovate Husky Stadium to the UW Board of Regents.

UW officials said they hope to begin construction of some of the project by Dec. 2008 to beat the beginning of the SoundTransit project in 2009. They said they'd hope for completion by 2010 but more likely 2011 or 2012.
They left open the possibility of playing elsewhere for a season or two at Qwest Field, but said they'd like to avoid that if possible.
A renovation would completely gut the decrepit lower bowl, increase the number of concession stands by 50 percent, increase the number of women's restrooms by 50 percent and the number of men's restrooms by 30 percent. It would also add seven elevators bringing the total from two to nine, widen the seats and rows and improve the views of Lake Washington.
The Husky Stadium project would completed be in two parts:
1. Renovation and program improvements.
This includes the gutting and rebuilding of the lower bowl (and making it up to code) and square it off, the removal of the track, the lowering of the field (of about eight feet -- it would be flush with the current softball field), the creation of seven to 10 rows of seating. The removal of the track and the squaring off of the west end brings fans 86 feet closer to the field. "The lower seats now will be high enough that they'll be the best seats in the house," Turner said. "We know it's a tough place for people to come in and play, and we're going to make it a whole lot tougher."
2. New facility construction.
A pedestrian pavilion would replace the current drive way and concourse on the west end of the stadium and, the room created by the squaring off of the west end would provide space for football offices. It would include coaches offices, weightrooms, lockerrooms and could possibly house the football ticket office. Twenty suites could also be put in that area.
No stone will go unturned during the fundraising process. Look for the State of Washington to get involved, look for booster donations, tax credits, naming rights, ticket surcharges etc.. to get it all done. The project is going to cost in the range of 300 million once it is completed making it the most expensive project in the history of the athletic department.
The lower bowl of the stadium built in 1920 has aged to the point where it has to be repaired, or replaced. The cost for maintaining it, and the rest stadium will exceed 100 million over the next ten years. That being said it makes sense to do a total remodel rather than just maintain the current facility.
Willingham Reaction
Tyrone Willingham was asked first about the relevance of a new stadium to recruiting and said: "It is a great deal. Because anytime you can do anything to make it better for the fans, you in turn make it better for the players. Because if you can create a better environment for your fans to be in, your players will be the recipients of that. They feel the emotion, they feel the love, they feel the joy, they feel the enthusiasm of that crowd, so it's a real plus. It's a win for us.


prrbrr said...

HIE, i was impressed by the detail of the briefing and the possible early start date. Long overdue, at practice I noticed how bad the lower bowl is since we are in upper N deck TYEE. I love Gov/Sen Dan. It is going to cost tho, I wonder as a TYEE how much I am going to have to pony up vs this year. Wonder if they could move the E tron to the west end atop the last row of proposed upper deck.

Health Insurance Expert said...

Dan Evans is a guy that hasn't failed at anything he has set out to do in life, and we are lucky to have him on the team, he is Mr. Connected and a big Husky fan!

The state is going to be asked to pony up a significant amount of money for this project, we all know that, and that is the only way it is going to get done.

The remarks they made about Clay Bennett, and the Sonics tell you the direction they are going to go.

If they could get this puppy done by 2010 it would be remarkable, but 2011-2012 would work fine. I think they realize the earlier they get started the easier, and less expensive it will all be.

I like the fact that they are blowing off 520, but the Sound Transit logistics will still be a factor. Getting as much done as possible before that starts is key in my mind.

hairofthedawg said...

I hope it gets done quickly and may have to find a way to donate a bit myself.

I've only been there twice, but once I get a little closer I hope to visit more often. One of my visits had me sitting near the top on the north side. I thought the step going up were unsafe and in fact saw two people take spills going down. Not to mention how uncomfortable the benches were. I didn't see any mention of redoing that. Did I miss something? I'm looking forward to it regardless.

If they play in Qwest during construction, does anyone know if my Seahawks' seat license gives me any right to buy my seat for the Husky games?

Anonymous said...

I think this is a complete waste of time an money. I'm kind of partial to the track. I'd be okay with enclosing the west end of the field even more and doing some upgrades, but this essentially makes the stadium a football only place and that is just a dumb idea. Besides, you know it will jack up the ticket prices which are already kind of high.

Health Insurance Expert said...

The track has never really bothered me, but I don't sit in the endzone's, or down low much. If you do happen to sit there it is terrible.

If you move the fans closer to the action, and improve the sightlines it makes it better for everyone, and everything.

As far as the waste of money thing goes they really don't have a choice because of the deterioration of the original bowl built in 1920, and the South upper deck built in 1950. It is going to cost 100 million over the next ten years just to maintain them at their present state, so why not just replace rather than maintain?

UW doesn't really have much choice if they want to keep playing in Husky Stadium.

If you move to Q-West you degrade the program, the history, and the feel.

viagra said...

I think that it is great that they are building a stadium. The best thing about it. It is the monitor that they will add.