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.
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.