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After the Whistle: Husky Stadium Renovation OK’d
Husky Stadium

The renovation of Husky Stadium received the green light to proceed when the University of Washington Board of Regents approved the $250 million project in November.

The project—which will not use any public or University funds—is scheduled to get under way just before the end of the 2011 football season. The 2011 Apple Cup game against Washington State will be played at Qwest Field in downtown Seattle, meaning the final home game in Husky Stadium before construction begins will be Nov. 5 against Oregon.

“The approval allows us to take the next steps in a project which is vital to the success of our football program and our department,” Athletic Director Scott Woodward said.

The project includes:

  • New lower bowl and south stands
  • Suite, loge boxes and club seating
  • Removal of the track and lowering the field by 4 feet
  • A football operations building on the stadium’s west side

The Department of Intercollegiate Athletics will fund the renovation through 30-year bonds. In addition, the UW is seeking major gift donations of $50 million as well as $200 million in new revenue from naming rights, season tickets and premium seating to cover the cost.

The project is scheduled to be completed by the start of the 2013 UW football season. The Huskies will play their 2012 home football season at Qwest Field. The Huskies will open play in renovated Husky Stadium on Sept. 7, 2013, with a game against Boise State.

While Husky Stadium has long been known as one of the premier college football venues in the nation, it requires a number of safety upgrades and other changes.

Said Head Football Coach Steve Sarkisian: “An enhanced fan experience, while still embracing the great tradition it holds, will all be part of making our football program more competitive.”
—Jon Marmor

30 Responses to After the Whistle: Husky Stadium Renovation OK’d

  1. Trevor says:

    Hard to understate what a PR nightmare this is for the UW with the general public and the state legislature at a time when the university’s budget is being slashed. Doesn’t matter that the money is not coming from the taxpayer.

    • Ron says:

      Trevor, where the money comes from DOES matter. Tax payers are not funding this stadium, and that is much better than the Qwest and Safeco fields that were paid by the taxpayers, and are in the private sector.

      This stadium will create hundreds, if not thousands, of jobs while it is being built in our local economy. On top of that, the increased revenues from the new Husky stadium will provide improved facilities and better scholarships for women’s and men’s sports that already rely completely on the profits of the football program.

  2. Joseph R. Smith, M.D. 1963, 1967 says:

    Will the stadium still use the big W at the 50 yard line or has any consideration been giving to replacing that with a frontal view of the eyes of a husky (ala the eye of the tiger at the LSU stadium) ?

  3. Brittany Bennett says:

    I noticed the fleeting mention that part of the renovation funding will come from the sale of naming rights. So now the UW’s best-known sports field, which has been called Husky Stadium for as long as it’s been around, will be named after some corporation? Great. Just what we need – more corporate infiltration into our public university. “B of A Arena” was bad enough. Now this too?

    • Carl Root says:

      There are many of us who never uttered the words Bank of America Arena but continued to call it Hec Ed. Just continue to call it Husky Stadium. Yes, it is annoying to see corporate signage and use of name for a public institution’s facility but you can boycott that every time you mention Husky Stadium.

  4. Dawn Counts says:

    In the drawing, I see nothing of the tunnel station for the “train”. It will impact the parking, wide sidewalks and drive ways as shown.

    Also, as one who already works the Husky games at the stadium, I can’t see it producing more jobs…most now are minimum wage or going toward non-profit fundraising groups.

    All that being said, I’m really looking forward to the updating of the south side as is our alumni (who have been very vocal about it to stadium personnel).

    • Jason Phillips says:

      “This stadium will create hundreds, if not thousands, of jobs while it is being built in our local economy.” He is referring to the construction work.

  5. John Barningham says:

    When, if ever, will the “W” brand be associated with academic and research excellence rather than physical prowess, head bashing, and physical violence?

  6. David Doten says:

    I understand that with the new stadium, the student section will be moved to the West end zone, if that is the plan, I think that idea needs to be revisited. Maybe the band can go to the end zone, but don’t take the student section away from behind our players bench.

  7. Jim says:

    Why not play the 5-6 home games a year at Qwest Stadium, which already has luxury boxes and club seating? It will be paid for by 2020, or it’s existing debt could be retired sooner due to the additional games.

    Rather than incurring certain debt and valuable state bonding authority on uncertain future revenue, any additional money generated from sales of club seating could be immediately spent to help defray double-digit tuition increases being incurred by our students right now. What a waste.

  8. Jack Thomas says:

    In most College stadiums across he country, the section occupied by the students is the area that produces the most income from the games. I know it is the students University, but it is also the Alumni’s University. So, deal with it for the short time you are in school and look farward to after graduation. I have had TYEE tickets for 30 years.
    Go Dawgs!!

  9. Neal Culver says:

    Some people have asserted that the Huskies should play all their home games at Quest Field, rather than spend the $250 Million on this upgrade. However, one of the principle reasons that it is imperative to play home games on the campus is because it brings the alumni back to it. This strengthens their bond with the University, and provides opportunities to translate that bond into donations, not just for athletic program, but for the academic side of the University as well. Hence, in hard economic times–we need those home games at home more than ever.

  10. Jess Tuengel says:

    I like the new stadium, however I agree that there should be no corparate name on the stadium. Unless you could get the Husqvarna corporation to sponsor since most of their tools are call “Husky”

    • Joe says:

      From what they’ve said so far, the stadium naming rights aren’t being sold. They are just offering a field naming rights opportunity. Meaning it could end up being “at&t Field at Husky Stadium”, kind of like how the Sounders play on “the X BOX Pitch at Qwest Field”. It’s a needed revenue source for the project, so hopefully they’re able to sell it. Either way, it will always be Husky Stadium.

    • scott says:

      I think thats a great idea.

  11. Sean Trange says:

    It would completely ruin the experience if the games were played at QWEST field. Don’t forget that the UW Tailgating experience is ranked as one of the best in the nation, it wouldn’t be the same at QWEST where there is an extremely limited amount of tailgate parking allowed.

    Anyway, can you tailgate from a boat at QWEST? I think not.

  12. Hillary says:

    If the track in the stadium is going to be removed, where will the new one be built? It certainly won’t be the same doing Dawg Dash and not getting to run through Husky Stadium. And what about the Relay for Life? These are also important events in the life of the university community (and the larger Seattle community). Has any thought been given to how events like these will be accomodated on campus in the future?

  13. Alvin Kwiram says:

    How about a nice array of solar panels on the roof of Husky Stadium. It would make a strong statement about the UW’s commitment to sustainability and renewable energy. And the cost would be negligible.

  14. Robert E. Repp says:

    Please assure me that Husky Stadium will continue to be called Husky Stadium. It is a great tradition, one of the best nationally.

    Where will track and field events take place?

    My superlative undergraduate and legal education at UW provides me with the ability to view the “either its academic support or athletic support” as a completely false dichotomy. The overall financial health of UW greatly benefits from our athletic revenues. It could improve as to how the revenues are split up, but whether one is a football etc. fan or not it brings money in the front door so it would be senseless to sacrifice the athletic program.

    I agree with the comment that all games should be played on campus. After another Husky win, (and before), we can retire to the Northlake Pizza, the original Red Robin, or? for some suds and ? walk through campus and revive the memories and contribute even more to our wonderful University. Bob Repp BA ’68, JD ’73, life alum.

  15. Sharon N.White says:

    I am a strong believer of not renaming “Husky Stadium” anything but what it has always been. I think the students and band should have good seats. I also believe that the people who had season tickets tho=rough thick and thin should not be displaced by money alumni. Not everyone has lots of bucks and some have been “Huskies” during the awful years and should be rewarded, not moved because someone wants their seats.

  16. cameron says:

    you know it’s just to bad that the last game is against oregon cause washington is going to lose! you would think that they would try and schedule a game that they could win for the last game at the stadium!

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