The University of Washington has been talking about and planning a renovation of Husky Stadium for six years. The total cost of the renovation is expected to be around $250 million dollars if the project broke ground in 2010. The plan has always been to raise half the capital required through donors and seat licences. The other half was to come directly from the State of Washington in the form of existing King County tourist taxes.
Down in Olympia the legislators are coping with a recession which is forcing the state to raise taxes and lower services. In that type of environment politicians are very reluctant to invest further in sports facilities despite the fact the painless tax was instituted to do exactly that. What they would rather do is extend this tax and divert it to other purposes such as low income housing, the arts, and amateur sports.
The bill did pass th house to extend the taxes but it included a proviso that no money be used for the renovation of Husky Stadium which just happens to be a state owned facility. That proviso could change in the senate before it passes the Governors desk for signing but at this point the chances of that happening are beginning to fade.
So what exactly does the University do if no public money is available? The UW has always said that they would be able to come up with approximately $150 million of the cost on their own as mentioned above. That would leave $100 million which would either have to be raised or financed.
Scott Woodward has always said there was no Plan B. That is the politically astute stance to take when you are going to the state for money. That being said there always is a Plan B out there. So the question of the day to this audience is how is the University of Washington going to raise or finace another $100-$150 million to finance the renovation of Husky Stadium?