Woodward understands angst over stadium

Husky athletic director Scott Woodward has heard from the fans, both the positive and the negative, since he announced plans to move forward with a remodel of Husky Stadium. One of the biggest controversies is the perceived lowering of the capacity, but he wants people to know, that nothing is 'etched in stone'...

On the possibility of reducing seating capacity: "There's only one thing that's certain, that's that we're going to redo the stadium. Everything else is up in the air and I couldn't have made it more clear. Uncertainty is the worst thing for people and it's going to drive them crazy, but tell them to ‘hang in there' and the worst case scenario is that, if we do decide to shrink it and we have a pent-up demand problem, we can add a west upper-deck in a heartbeat. Now, I'm not saying that's what we're going to do, but it's a scenario. Expanding is easy."

On the possibility of expanding right now: "It's a possibility that (delays from lawsuits with an expansion) could be the case, but I doubt it. Most people are going to tell you though, from a financial standpoint, you haven't had sellout crowd averages, even in the glory days. You had them in the Don James era, but in the Lambo (Jim Lambright) and (Rick) Neuheisel days you certainly didn't have them all the time."

On the scope and cost: "The cost is going to be cheap, not the quality. We're trying to do it right, but with the lowest possible bid."

On the reaction from the fan base and big donors: "They're very excited and the reaction has been very positive. From our donors, to the Board of Regents, to the fans I've talked to; it's one of those things where, everyone's excited and ready for ‘go'. That's what everyone is ready for – ‘let's go, let's get this done' – and that's the fun part about it."

On things going on in the background: "We have good data, but we want to see what the best proposals are and what they look like; How many premium seats do we have?; How can we do this better from an engineering standpoint?; How can we save money and make it nicer?; open concourses like they have at Safeco so when you're getting a soft drink, you can watch the action if you're in the lower bowl and different things like that to make it a much better experience, that's the key."

On the drawings that have been released: "Those are schematics from the original money we spent the first time and there's nothing etched in stone about those. Those are what they are – schematic drawings – and until you get a final 'go' on it, things can change a lot. That's what we're doing and that's what we're looking at. I'm certainly not a designer or a contractor and I don't know what the best looking facility is going to be, but we can be certain of one thing – we're going to get it done and we're going to take maximum advantage of the beautiful (setting) that we have which is the best spot in college football."

On people being wound up about things: "In the end what matters is what we get done and the key is to win football games to keep people excited about this program. Everything else is background noise."


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