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Some economics on swimming

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Todd Turner turned down a $10 million dollar donation to help build a pool on the Washington campus to replace the exisiting facility.

Turner did not want a pool on campus. However if one was built he prefered the location be at Magnuson Park which just happens to be pretty close to the UW campus. Negotiations stalled at that point and it never moved forward.

The Washington athletic department has been trying kill swimming for more than a decade. We are talking about three AD's who were all very different who had it at the top of their agenda.

Swimming is an expensive sport that demands an expensive facility which does not generate revenue. Even if somebody came up with the $30 million for a new pool the cost of maintaining the facility is quite expensive each year. UW didn't want to take on that responsibility alone.

Lets say they built the facility and took on the maintenance then they would still have to fund a more competitve team that would cost even more money.

When you are selling 65,000 season tickets for football you may take on that type of expense. When your season ticket sales have declined to under 38,000 then you have to take a hard look at cutting the budget which means possibly cutting sports programs.

It is a very grim reality.
Washington had one chance to maintain swimming and that would have been if the King County Aquatic Center had been built on campus or at Sand Point. The UW under Hedges turned it down for the reason Turner did. They did not want allocate space on the lower campus for it.
In the end the facility was built in Federal Way which made it very difficult for UW to ever use it for anything but events. Lack of foresight by Gerberding, Mc'Cormick, and Hedges is what is resposnible for the present state of UW athletics.
Swimming could have been saved by Hedges. Swimming had a slight chance under Turner. Woodward on the other hand had no other choice because any potential funding sources were now gone.
UW needs to focus on completely on football. Only a healthy football program will drive the finds necesary for UW to be able to stay competitive in Olympic sports.