King 5 was out at the Apple Cup interviewing fans of both teams, UW AD Scott Woodward, and Governor Christine Gregoire.
It never fails to amaze me what little grasp of this issue that the people of this state have about this situation and where the money would come from to accomplish the renovation.
I can't think of a single public/private venture that is shovel ready that can provide 7000 jobs in the Puget Sound area other than Husky Stadium. Add in a Key Arena renovation which would also be a public/private venture and you are creating a lot of jobs in a time when construction related jobs are very hard to come by.
The money generated comes from King County and has been earmarked for exactly this purpose. The purpose is building and maintaining sports stadiums. Key Arena and Husky Stadium just happen to be sports stadiums.
Coug logic as usual is flawed. I would agree if the state was giving Husky Stadium $150 million from the general fund they should have the same opportunity. This is quite different because all the taxes are generated in King County and are meant to be used specifically in King County.
Last time I looked Pullman wasn't in King County even though most of the graduates live there.
But Gregoire says Husky fans may want to temper their enthusiasm for the stadium plan.
"I can't imagine this is the time to ask the people to invest in that, though it means jobs," she said.
Gregoire says the state's $8 billion deficit hurts any entity - like UW - looking for major money."We are in one of the worst economic times in the history of the state, so I don't know this legislative session is going be the answer to what Husky Stadium wants," she said.
Christine Gregoire is among my least favorite politicians. She doesn't lead very well and is as partisan as they come. How do you ignore the creation of over 10,000 jobs with half the money coming from private sources in an economy like this?
I guess you do it the same way you ignore the possibility of the Viaduct falling down and killing hundreds of people and the 520 sinking in high winds or an earthquake. These needed regional transportation matters should have been finalized five years ago but they continue to drag on because the Governor lacks the ability to lead and make a final decision.
UW AD Scott Woodward believes that getting the funding is a 50/50 proposition right now despite the self defensive political rhetoric. If the legislature votes to switch the decision making authority on those funds to King County....where those funds are happen to be generated...chances are the King County Council will go along with it.
On the table are $150 million private dollars for Husky Stadium. Another $150 million from Microsoft's Steve Balmer for Key Arena, and $30 million from Clay Bennett which he gave up in a settlement to move the Sonics.
We are talking $330 million from private sources to help fund $600 million dollars worth of public projects. Deals don't get much better than that for the public and they don't stay available forever. The $30 million from Clay Bennett comes off the table if the city doesn't get the renovation of Key Arena going in a certain timeframe. You have to believe that Balmer has his own timeframe also.
It is time for people to start making smart decisions rather than protecting their political butts. It is all about manufacturing jobs as quickly as possible for the least cost possible. The public/private investment in Husky Stadium and Key Arena achieves those goals and will continue to yield benefits to the Puget Sound area for the next fifty years.