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Husky Stadium

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One of the things I shared with you guys before Christmas was that the next big public announcement Husky AD Scott Woodward is likely to make is going to get us all really excited about the future of Husky football.

The announcement will be about the renovation of Husky Stadium and the wheels are starting to turn in that direction which is highlighted in a report in today's edition of the Seattle Times.

The major goal all along has been to get a jump on the project before the Sound Transit Light Rail and SR 520 projects are in full swing. Once those two projects start it is going to be dicey getting a third major project completed in the area at the same time.

The renovation of Husky Stadium could begin immediately after the last game of the upcoming season, Woodward said, and would take about 20 months. That would allow the team to move back into a revamped Husky Stadium in time for the 2011 season.

On the public funding side politicians are working to be able to take the entire state legislature out of the process and delegate the decision to King County. It makes a lot of sense because King County is where the funds are generated.

Meanwhile, the idea of handing the stadium-funding decision to King County revolves around the proposed use of county-specific taxes, such as a hotel-motel tax, to pay for the renovation.

"It seems to me that local decisions should be made locally," said state Rep. Ross Hunter, D-Medina, who co-chairs a legislative committee looking into funding proposals.

"There's a lot of attraction to the idea that these taxes are generated in King County ... and that if they're generated there, you should decide what to do with them," said Marty Brown, the governor's legislative director and a member of Hunter's committee.

The bottom line on all this is the UW is pretty certain they have the private share of the $300 million raised at this point. If they can get their hands on the state contribution construction will be able to start next fall after the football season is completed.

What basically amounts to approval for a new stadium will be one heckuva tool for Steve Sarkisan to use in recruiting the 2010 class which may be one of the better ones we have seen in state over the last ten years.

With the legislative session reconvening today expect things to heat up considerably on this issue over the next 60 days.