All systems are go for the Washington Huskies today after the Board of Regents gave the final approval for the $250 proposed renovation to Husky Stadium. For all intents and purposes, the renovation will happen. UW plans on using a $210 million loan from the university’s internal lending program while they raise the money privately. Donors have already pledged $14.5 million toward the project.
The Seattle Times’ Katherine Long broke down the details of the board’s decision and what it means for the project.
Stadium construction is scheduled to begin Nov. 7, 2011, with the Huskies playing the 2011 Apple Cup and all 2012 games in Qwest Field downtown before returning to Husky Stadium in 2013. Earlier this year, the development contract was awarded to Wright Runstad of Seattle.
The stadium will have 25 suites, 25 loge boxes and more than 2,500 club seats, which Athletic Director Scott Woodward called “key to the project.”
Under the proposal, students will lose man of their “premium seats” located at the 50 yard line. After the renovation is complete, the bulk of the student section will be located in the west end zone. Prices for both seats on the 50-yard line and in the west end zone will increase for students, as well.
As for financing, the athletic department plans to raise a portion of the funds through donations, but the bulk of the money will come from ticket prices and, perhaps, naming rights. Selling rights to the whole stadium is not in the plans — ensuring it remains Husky Stadium — but the field and plazas may be up for grabs.
With the final hurdle in the rear-view mirror, it looks like the project is happening, at long last. Washington will its final game in 2011 at Qwest Field, as well as the entire 2012 season while the project gets underway. The plan is to return to a newly renovated Husky Stadium in time for the 2013 season.