Image from Wikimedia Commons

This is transit-related, stick with me.

Good for UW President Mark Emmert that he isn’t making renovation of Husky Stadium a priority.  He certainly has bigger fish to fry.  It seems pretty clear that UW should play their football games at Qwest Field, and I say this as a UW alumnus who goes to a couple of games a year.

  1. Qwest Field is an ultra-modern facility, state-of-the-art even for the NFL.  In the article, it’s dismissed as “too small” for the UW fan base.  The NFL seating capacity of Qwest is 67,000, compared to Husky Stadium’s 72,000.  Wikipedia claims Qwest is expandable to 72,000 for “special events”, though; even if it’s not, I bet we can add 5,000 seats for less than the $450m$300m in funds required to redo Husky Stadium.  Furthermore, modern NFL stadiums have tons of luxury boxes that can generate big money for the program.
  2. Qwest Field is easier to get to. Its location in SODO is the hub of every transportation system in the region except the monorail: Link, buses, ferries, Sounder,   Amtrak, and two interstates.  Even students (a small fraction of attendance, though an important one) will be about 15 minutes away when U-Link opens in 2016.  Compared to the series of bottlenecks in the Montlake area, there’s no comparison.  Not only will traffic be less of a problem, traffic will be irrelevant due to the huge number of transportation choices.
  3. The land under Husky Stadium is too valuable, in every sense. Sitting literally on top of an underground rail station, there are far too many productive uses for this land to have it house a stadium used at most 6 or 7 times a year and a giant surface parking lot.  If the UW didn’t want to build anything there to make the lives of their students and employees easier, simply selling the whole thing to a developer would probably patch that hole in the endowment pretty well.

Obviously, the third point also applies to Qwest Field.  However, that merely emphasizes the importance of consolidating all of our rectangular-field sports into one venue.  It seems obvious that if we are to do so, it should be into the facility that doesn’t currently require $450m $300m in renovations.

UW pays a lot of lip service to environmental sustainability.  Intelligent land use here would help them make that commitment a reality, even if it contradicts people’s sentimental attachment to the Montlake site.

80 Replies to “The Huskies Should Play at Qwest Field”

  1. Agreed. But sadly, this will become a case of “It Just Makes Too Much Sense”

    Honestly, Qwest Field “Too Small”?! I’ll be needing butterbeer to wash this one down…

  2. “Too small” may not mean “not enough seats”, it might refer to space for storing equipment for two teams. However, surely room could be added for less cost in that case, too.

    The first thing that comes to my mind is scheduling. How often do both teams have home games within a few days? There needs to be plenty of practice time, too.

    Politically, I think this could work if they renamed the stadium “UW Field” or something like that. There’s no way the massive UW athletic program would settle for a stadium that didn’t have their stamp on it.

  3. Remember though that Husky Stadium is also used for Track & Field events. I don’t believe that Qwest Field has the facilities for those. Things like the running track that surrounds the playing field. 6 or 7 games a year may be true for Husky Football, but the stadium is used for other things as well.

    1. Fair enough, but the crowds are tiny. I’d be happy for the state to fund a much smaller facility for track & field, field hockey, college soccer, etc. a bit further north as long as the prime real estate within a quarter mile of the station was going to be used for something more productive.

      1. yes, the plan is to remove the track, lower the playing surface, and bring seats closer to the field.

  4. Also from the linked article, it’s $300 mil, not $450 (though that’s STILL a large sum).

    The UW is seeking to finance stadium updates with $150 million from a King County tourism tax on hotels and restaurants. The UW would pay for the other half of the $300 million project with athletic department funds.

    The $150 from King County is part of the $300, not added to it.

    1. Thanks Pete,

      You win the reading comprehension prize, I win the dunce cap. I’ve made the change in the original post.

  5. I would like to know how many students ever actually go to Husky Stadium. I never met one who did- we were all too busy earning our degrees.

    As for a more valuable use of the land, well, the Health Sciences buildings are full of some pretty pricey stuff. If that’s not way more valuable than a football field we really need to rethink what we’re doing.

    1. I used to go, but pretty rarely. maybe four times in four years (one year was in Japan, though). I actually go more often now (twice a year) as an alum than I did as a student.

    2. The only time I’ve ever been inside Husky Stadium was the commencement last year but I have no interest in (American) football so I wouldn’t go to Qwest anyway.

  6. The two real issues as I understand them:

    1) Parts of Husky Stadium are eleigible for listing as a historic structure. Even if the stadium is vacated it may be difficult to remove it and use the land for something else.

    2) The UW would have to pay to use Qwest field rather than keeping 100% of the revenue for themselves.

    The UW would have to use Qwest in any case while Husky Stadium was being rennovated.

    The UW does have a good argument for the tourisim taxes though. Husky home games draw a huge number of out of town visitors, especially when playing a team like Nebraska or Notre Dame.

    1. 2) Whatever they build in its place will likely pay higher revenue than a college stadium pulls in.

      1. That seems like an easy statement to make. How much revenue does a college stadium bring in? How much would “whatever” bring in? And if they sell the land, then there is no revenue except for the proceeds of the sale, not a continuous cash flow. And let’s not forget the cash outflow for using Qwest.

        I think the #3 issue would have to be scheduling. The Seahawks, MLS Sounders and UW all playing in Qwest would be difficult. Most MLS games are on Saturday as are college football games. For 2 months, two-thirds of the College FB season, all three will be in-season. I’m guessing Seahawks would get first priority, then the Sounders and lastly UW. I highly doubt the UW would want to be subjugated to being third in line and run their schedule by two other authorities first. They could do it for a year or two during renovation, but as a long-term solution, that would be tough to swallow.

      2. Let’s say 20 games a year at 70k people each paying $20. That’s $28M a year in ticket sales. Now imagine 20 20-story apartment buildings, each floor having 10 units and renting for $1000/month. That’s $48M a year. And that’s just housing. If you build retail on the bottom floors, charge for parking underground, and add in a supermarket, you’ll be way ahead.

        Yes, the’d have to pay for using the other stadium, but I doubt they’d have to pay close to the full $28M they rake in each year.

      3. Don’t you mean 6 games a year? The typical regular football season is 12 games, half of those at home.

      4. Oh, and football tickets range from $70 to $250 dollars depending on seats and the game, excluding student tickets.

      5. I intentionally used round numbers, since I’m just trying to get an order of magnitude estimate here. Using your numbers and assuming an average ticket price of $80 we go up to $33.6M. This doesn’t change my conclusion any.

        (are tickets really that much? I’m trying to figure out if I’m terribly cheap or if sports fans are insane.)

      6. Assuming the UW moved football to Qwest Field, I’m not sure Montlake or Larelhurst would be terribly happy about dense development in the stadium location.

        In additon there would be some limits on the building envelopes due to the shoreline and not wanting to block Rainier Vista.

      7. Its a great idea to use Qwest stadium. Based on the green bill currently in the state legislature, any development within a 1/2 mile of the light rail station would be part of the Transit Oriented District(TOD). Any new development would be mandated to have a minimum of 50 units of housing per acre. It would be a great way for the North End to get some afforadable housing and all the amenities it brings.

      8. I forgot to mention – the neighborhoods don’t get a say in this. Also my impression is that there no problem in blocking Rainier Vista – there are no Seattle laws that prevent view obstructions with new construction.

      9. It would be UW’s decision to build anything, and there’s no way they’d do anything to block Rainier Vista. The entire south campus is aligned to preserve that view, and I can’t see them throwing that away just for some cheap apartments.

      10. Knowing the UW I doubt they would sell the land. If something like this was to happen I suspect they would most likely go with a long-term ground lease. Similar to what the UW does with the University Tract land downtown.

        Still I suspect it is a nonstarter for both scheduling and the reasons I gave above.

      11. Given the attendance at UW vs. what’s likely for the Sounders, I’m fairly sure the football would have priority.

        In the long term it’s not hard to de-conflict the Sounders and Huskies. Assuming the Sounders play every Saturday, you simply alternate the home dates to make it work.

        As the government owns the stadium, it shouldn’t be too hard to crack heads and make this work.

      12. The Sounders have an existing lease, though I don’t know the term. Any new tenant, regardless of their draw or history, would be third on the totem pole.

        Attendance at Husky football games would drop significantly if they moved to Qwest. Tailgating is nonexistent in SoDo, whereas at Husky Stadium it’s top-notch.

      13. The Sounders are part-owned by First and Goal, their lease basically resembles that of the Seahawks. The are not a tenant in the sense that the Huskies would be.

        And, you can’t “simply” alternate home dates because you’re forgetting that both teams have opponents who have their own scheduling constraints. Oh and the WSU game at Qwest, the high school football weekend, events at the Events Center, big concerts and so on would also need to be avoided. Do I really need to go on? You all can’t paper over the scheduling issues as insignificant.

  7. football stadiums (whether they are pro or college) get so little use a year, that sharing the stadiums with another football organization makes so much sense.

    1. That’s one thing. I bet the U-District businesses, and especially the hotels wouldn’t like this idea.

  8. Also, imagine what it would be like having a Husky game,a Seahawks game, two baseball games, and a soccer game right there in the same weekend. And nobody seems to have much trouble getting to games at Husky Stadium right now; the UW station will make it even easier. Every school needs its own stadium as a matter of school pride and for all the big events a university as big as UW has. Finally, all of UW’s sports facilities are located right there around Husky Stadium, which makes a lot more sense than having them scattered around the city. The Huskies should stay at Husky Stadium, and they should get the money for renovations as it would come from an extension of existing taxes.

  9. As both a UW alum and a U-District resident, I would much rather the games go to Qwest field. Five times a year, the traffic and parking in the U-District becomes a complete nightmare because of the husky games. Why not route that traffic down to SODO where so few people live?

    If you really think about it, the stadium property may be the only real chance for any TOD for the UW station. though it will already be plenty used, since the UD is the second largest job center in the state behind only DT seattle (this building alone has 60% of the office space in downtown Bellevue).

    Everyone seems to be going after this hotel tax cash. The County wants to expand the Convention center, the city wants to fix Seattle Center and the UW wants a new husky stadium. There isn’t money for all of these projects.

    1. Do we really need TOD for this station? According to the EIS the UW station has the highest ridership of any station outside of downtown.

      I think running a streetcar up to the U-Village area would do just as well to generate TOD without it being such an uphill battle.

  10. And if you think students make up only a small fraction of attendance at games, you obviously haven’t been to one in a while; most of the north stands are filled with students. I would guess anywhere between a quarter and half of the attendees are students.

      1. How do you know? Did you ask for ID?

        Even towards the latter part of last season, the student section was routinely half-full or better.

      2. No, I didn’t ask for ID. I suppose the phalanx of middle-aged people and families were substantially UW students, but somehow I doubt it. The student section of the stadium is tiny.

  11. They should, but they won’t because of the idea that the top programs do not share stadiums with NFL teams. This is the same reason, I believe, that UW resisted any idea of the Seahawks staying at Husky Stadium permanently.

  12. I guess it is far too late to lament the decision to put one of the two u-district link stations near husky stadium. The oringinal proposed alignment (from Sound Move) had the tunnel under Portage Bay rather than the Montlake Cut, resulting in two stations on the west side. All of the action, including the heart of campus and most of the redevelopment opportunities are on the west side, right around 40th St. This would have allowed the 45th St. station to be pushed a little farther North, say to 47th. The combination of the two stations would have given the entire u-district the same level of light rail coverage as downtown, making the entire neighborhood within easy walking distance (1/4) mile of one of the two stations.

    As it is now, both stations are actually pretty inconvenient for actually going to class at the university since they are both at the very corners of campus rather than near the heart.

    Ben might know this, but does anyone know why the alignment was moved to the Montlake Cut? I assume it was for engineering reasons and perhaps because of political considerations for the athletic department.

    Again it’s too late to change anything, but I think it’s one more of MANY, MANY examples of how our light rail planning has not been sufficiently coordinated with land use and in which the accessibility of the stations, either by walking, driving or feeder bus has been more of an afterthought than an integrated part of the whole. Light Rail is a system and a system is only as good as its weakest component. The failure to integrate land use and accessibility into the plan will result in a system that falls far short of its potential.

    1. IIRC, the location was moved because of one very important and sensitive experiment in one of the labs that couldn’t be disturbed by ground movement. It seems like a strange reason to change future plan of your entire city, but then I don’t know what experiment it was.

      1. You don’t move light rail for a science lab. You move the science lab. This is a multi-billion dollar project that will define the urban form of this entire region for the next 200 years. There really is no appreciation for how significant Link is. People seem to think it’s just a fancy bus system or something. Ah!

      2. It’s not a question of moving one lab—it’s a question of moving tens or hundreds of labs/experiments. As serial catowner said below, the Portage Bay route would have gone under the Applied Physics Lab (actually a building full of labs), as well as most of the marine biology buildings and part of health sciences. The cost of building new space for all these labs (in addition to the difficulty of finding new space near campus) would probably be in the hundreds of millions of dollars, not to mention the cost and disruption of shuffling labs around.

    2. I dunno, at the Husky Stadium site, they are within 1/4 of a downtown bellevue’s worth of office space (>8mn sq ft), a huge hospital and about the same distance as the buses that drop kids of for class do.

      1. Just to add numbers to this, the Health Sciences building alone has 5,470,200 total square feet, while downtown Bellevue has about 6 million square feet of office space right now.

    3. First, the lab in question is the Applied Physics Lab. That may not mean much to you, but in science and industry it’s big.

      Second, the Montlake location is next to the Health Sciences complex. Again, big.

      1. I thought it was a different lab? The APL is over near the University Bridge.

        As I recall the alignment the UW was objecting to was a Montlake alignment with a station at Rainier Vista. The APL may be why the UW didn’t like the West tunnel options though. In UW the comments to the North Link DEIS, where they suggest the current alignment they did specificly state they didn’t have any objections to the originally planned alignment under 15th NE and Portage Bay. That alignment was dropped due to the construction risk of tunneling under Portage Bay.

    4. The original “preferred station alignment” was 15th Ave NE and NE Pacific, over half a mile from 45th. It’s quite an uphill walk to 40th (I know because I used to live in the Commodore-Duchess Apts at 40th and 15th). There is nothing other than UW in every direction except the thin strip on the water (Agua Verde and so on). Well, and the LDS and parking.

      By the way, over half of the UW’s classroom space is in Health Sciences along Pacific St and the engineering schools are closer to the stadium than the quad. It sounds good to have light rail to the (geographic) heart of campus until you realize that few people are there except during class times, but the hospital keeps running year around. There are also a much larger percentage of professional staff (like me!) in the school of medicine than in other schools like Arts and Sciences. In the past few years UW has really tried to move researchers off main campus, presumably to free up space for students. As a result the HUB goes on skeleton crew all summer and you have to go to the Ave or Health Sciences for lunch anyway.

  13. “The land under Husky Stadium is too valuable, in every sense. Sitting literally on top of an underground rail station…”

    I’m looking right now at a map of The University of Washington Link line and station, and the stadium does not sit on top of an underground rail station.

  14. As a UW Alumni, given that I live in Bellevue, it’s much easier for me to hop the 230 to the 550 to Qwest than trudging up to the U District (and it’ll be even better once East Link comes online)

    1. 230 right on up to Microsoft

      I’ve been on both the 550 and 545 plenty of times to know I’d rather take I-90

    2. I consider myself lucky to live off of NE 8th (although the snow storms, well let’s just say don’t get me started – I live off of the Adverse route near Northrup) and have the ability to hop a single bus to work that doesn’t use I-90 or SR-520

  15. To those advocating the Husky football team at Qwest — what would you have replace Husky Stadium? It’s consistently rated one of the top 5 places nationwide to watch a football game, the current quality of the team notwithstanding. What would be a better use for the site? I don’t see that addressed at all in the original post.

    1. How about anything that serves people more than 7 days a year? Residential, office, shopping, education, hospital — it really doesn’t matter.

      Qwest Field is also often rated near the top, FWIW.

    2. Since they have to replace it, it’s like starting from scratch and the question becomes what is the best use of the land. Remember that the UW doesn’t seem to have the money to replace the stadium by themselves and are begging for abig chunk of tax revenue that is also needed/wanted by others. They are the ones that need to make the case for a fancy new stadium.

      1. They’re not replacing the stadium. They’re seeking additional seats and repairs for a state facility that’s been around for almost 100 years. Not a brand new football stadium.

        Martin, I don’t know if you’ve ever been to a Seahawks game and a Huskies game back to back, but they’re totally different experiences. As I mentioned elsewhere, tailgaiting is huge at Husky stadium — not so at Qwest, which is among the worst places in the country for that pastime. People don’t come from out of town to see the Huskies play, they come to see the Huskies play at Husky Stadium.

        Replacing the historic stadium with an apartment complex (really?!?), office buildings, etc. — not only would that be a nightmare getting the environmental approval, but it would give the U-District that many fewer entertainment options. It may look more efficient on paper to replace Husky Stadium with mixed-use development, but it wouldn’t really be the best use of the land.

      2. Yes, it would be a tragedy equal to the day when they built University Hospital on the old golf course. Even worse, in fact, as golfers could seek other golf courses in the area, but there are few large parking lots where people are encouraged to gather and eat and drink heavily.

      3. “but there are few large parking lots where people are encouraged to gather and eat and drink heavily”

        What a strange world the car has created. There must be other ways of encouraging people to gather and eat and drink heavily without cars. Pubs? Picnic tables? A park?

        Do we really want a world where you drink heavily in your car?

  16. I’d also point out that, on gamedays, Metro totally overwhelms Husky Stadium. Once the Link station opens up, it’ll be even easier to get to. The transportation argument here is, I think, pretty weak.

  17. This post and most of the subsequent commentary proceed from ignorance or hostility or both.

    UW may not make it a priority to secure funds to remodel Husky Stadium but Seahawks Stadium is not a long-term solution for precisely the reasons that Chris Stefan outlined. Historic structure, scheduling control (third on the totem pole is bad), revenue control.

    Also, don’t forget Jane Jacobs observation about the dangers of putting all of your chess pieces together (i.e. building “stadium” districts and “financial” districts).

    The rich assholes in Montlake would sure love for the stadium to go away, I’ll grant that, but I rather doubt that they’d be amenable to a bunch of a apartments unless they were luxe and wouldn’t attract students/poor people.

    1. 1) Historic structure: no doubt someone will file a lawsuit on these grounds. Husky Stadium would hardly be the first old stadium, however, to go under the wrecking ball, here or anywhere else. Yankee Stadium is 100 times more historically significant than Husky Stadium and it’s doomed. The fact that someone is going to file a lawsuit has never stopped us from advocating a course of action before, and won’t now.

      2) Scheduling control: I can’t believe that a public stadium authority wouldn’t be able to somehow accommodate three teams (some of which will be on the road, and whose seasons don’t entirely overlap) playing their games over the same weekend. They managed it with two teams in the Kingdome for decades.

      3) Revenue control: I would be happy for the tax to subsidize the program for the rent at Qwest, minus the increased revenue from amenities at Qwest and the upkeep cost of Husky Stadium. My issue isn’t the money, it’s the land.

      4) I have news for you cjh, we already have a stadium district. The more events we have there, the more lively it’ll be. Furthermore, Qwest is across the street from Pioneer Square — where people work ,live, and play, and that area is only going to get more developed as time passes.

      But yeah, school pride and all that. It’s nice to know how deep some people’s commitment to good land use and trip reduction is.

      1. 1) Perhaps but people are awfully cavalier about the historical built environment. Anyhow, it’s not like the stadium actually occupies that much space, unless you are proposing removing the other non-stadium facilities nearby (like the Hec Ed, the IMA, the intramural fields, the baseball stadium, Husky Soccer Field, etc.). Are you proposing doing away with those, too? The stadium and the parking lot themselves are pretty small (smaller than the huge lots NORTH of the IMA, for instance) – less than 10 acres.

        2) Uh, you really aren’t familiar with the scheduling issues are you and groundskeeping and all that? September and October would become an absolute clusterfuck at Seahawks Stadium.

        3) Hahaha, what? You seriously think something like that would pass muster with the legislature? Ever?

        4) Why reinforce that bad land use pattern by funneling more “events” into a single area? This creates entertainment ghettoes (and that’s what the immediate area around the stadium really is – the rest of Pioneer Square is influenced by other factors). The solution is not to create more “events” because that just ends up overwhelming the area’s ability to function without the stadiums.

      2. At madison square garden they have the New York Knicks and the New York Rangers playing day-after-day 41+ games each throughout the entire winter. The seasons overlap for almost the entire duration. In oakland, at McAffee they have 81+ A’s games, and 10+ Raiders games, and have no problem fitting those in. And that’s on real grass. During the Qwest field construction, the Seahawks played in husky stadium and so did the husky football team and two husky soccer teams. I went to some of those games and I didn’t see any problem

        Why would it be that hard to keep grounds on turf in a stadium for 15 soccer games and 15 or so football games each year? Especially when the soccer season starts in march? They managed

        I’m not convinced this is a problem.

        So you’d rather there were fewer games at Qwest because the is going to break the “entertainment ghetto” pattern?

      3. Neither of those examples have two teams, playing the same sport, at the same facility. Cal plays its games in Berkeley, only a few miles away from the Coliseum. Wouldn’t it be more efficient if they shared a facility with the Raiders and A’s?

        Husky football should be played at Husky Stadium — it’s a great tourist draw, it’s a historic building, and it’s actually on the campus. Do you seriously think the university or the public would stand for an office building in the same location — an office building surrounded by Hec Ed, soccer fields, the baseball field, etc.?

        By your logic, the T-birds shouldn’t have built that new arena in Kent — they could just share the Everett Events Center with the Silvertips! Why should we maintain Cheney Stadium for the Rainiers, when they could play at Safeco? Why should the Aquasox play in Everett, when they could play at the UW or Safeco?

        CJH is absolutely right — keep entertainment spread throughout the city. I’m amazed that this blog would recommend removing existing entertainment options so close to a Link station.

        And yes, for many of us, the “commitment to better land use and trip reductions” only goes so far — once you start removing the things that make this city such an enjoyable place to live in the name of transit efficiency, you’ve crossed the line.

      4. Temple and Pitt are the only Division I programs that share facilities with a pro football program. And both situations involve exactly two tenants. Not three. As did all of your permanent examples. And anyhow, basketball, baseball and hockey are entirely different matters as their gamedays are much less fixed than college football (Saturday), pro soccer (Saturday) and pro football (Sunday). My grounds keeping comment wasn’t just about the condition of the turf but also re: addition/removal of markings

        And yes, that is precisely my suggestion. The two stadiums should not have been built so close to one another in the first place but now that they are, we shouldn’t be seeking still more sports tenants.

      5. cjh,

        If this happened in Fall 2009, sure there’d be chaos. But I refuse to believe that this simply can’t be managed in the longer term. For example, here’s last season’s schedule for the New York Red Bulls, who happen to share Giants Stadium with both the Giants and Jets.

        Are there Saturday games? Sure. But there also lots of Thursdays and Sundays in lieu of Saturday.

      6. Joykiller,

        [In reference to Cal-Berkeley, minor league baseball, et al sharing stadiums.]

        In each case you cite, the case isn’t nearly as strong given the points I made in the original case. In the case of Berkeley, the football stadium is nowhere near the BART station, the program isn’t asking for hundreds of millions for renovations (AFAIK), and McAfee Coliseum (where the Raiders play) is a 43-year-old dump, a far cry from Qwest Field, more recent renovations notwithstanding. McAfee is within walking distance of BART but not really all that close to the station. Despite all that, if I were a California taxpayer and the school came hat in hand, I’d expect them to look at this option.

        As for the Aquasox, Silvertips, Rainiers, T-Birds, etc, I don’t think you can really compare minor league teams, that play every night and draw extremely locally, with football teams that, due to weekend games and huge hinterlands, draw from all over the state and beyond. I don’t see how can compare moving a minor league team to an entirely different city to moving a regional football team 6 miles.

      7. Joykiller,

        As for your apparent desire to have as few sporting events as possible at each venue, I’m not really sure what to say to that, except that it runs pretty contrary to expanding whatever economic benefits stadiums do provide, even if they tend not to make up for the costs.

        We’ll just have to agree to disagree on that, although I think most people would prefer that we seek to maximize our return on those investments.

  18. In the original alignment the stations would have been at NE Pacific & University way and just East of 15th NE in the Burke Museum parking lot.

    The alignment was moved to crossing the ship canal at Montlake due to geotechnical problems with crossing at Portage Bay. The risk of crossing at Montlake was judged to be far less than the other alignments.

    The station locations initially proposed for the Montlake alignment were at Rainier Vista between NE Pacific Pl & Stevens Way and the 15th NE & NE 45th station from the original alignment.

    The UW objected to the tunnel alignment across campus through Rainier Vista due to potential interference with research labs (at least that is what they claimed). The current alignment and Husky Stadium station location was suggested by the UW. Ridership numbers are only slightly lower than a Rainier Vista station would have been.

    The North University District station was moved from the Burke Museum site because the local business community wanted a station closer to the main commercial area. I believe the UW had some mild objections as well due to potential impacts on the Burke. The Brooklyn location has slightly higher ridership and better TOD potential than 15th would have.

  19. As a UW alum I’d also vote for a long term strategy of moving to Quest. Tailgating on campus and hopping a train that gets you to the stadium in what, 15 minutes? You could still take your yacht to Union Bay and make merry. It wouldn’t be quite the same but post game celebration options in the SODO are much more plentiful than Montlake.

    The main reason I’d argue for making the move is that it starts to shift the entire focus of putting more cars into the Montlake area. This not only returns the neighborhood to the residents but eliminating all but an interchange for transit and emergency vehicles at Montlake would be a huge benefit to traffic flow on the SR520 corridor.

  20. The football program supports ALL of the other sports at UW. They say if you like UW baseball, buy football tickets. If you like UW golf, buy football tickets. Etc.

    I have never been to a college or pro football game in my life, but it seems to me that not having the physical presence of the football stadium at the university would be a problem. The whole campus plan at UW is on a view axis of mountains, lake, and ta da….football stadium. The UW used to be downtown and if it was, it might make sense to have its stadium downtown, but I just can’t see it being remote from the campus.

    Our civic ghetto of government buildings is joined to the stadium ghetto by Pioneer Square. There actually are not nearly enough people on the streets of Pioneer Square. Being hedged in by those two often empty dismal areas is brutal and of course that neighborhood is suffering because of it.

    1. Kate,

      As I say in the original post, Qwest would be 15 minutes away from the University. It’s quite common in college basketball for urban campuses to have their teams play in the local NBA arena. Meanwhile, there are very few big-time college football programs that share a city with an NFL team, so there isn’t much to compare this situation to.

      Your last comment seems to complain that the Qwest Field area isn’t busy enough, which is of course the argument I’m trying to make.

  21. WSU plays many of it’s games in Spokane which is 90 miles from campus because the larger population center puts more people in the stands. College football comes down to economics. A bigger stadium means more money. Somehow it would have to be profitable for UW to play at Quest. One start would be to not donate a dime of public money to a sports franchise which is already the most profitable in the state. Negotiating a deal at Quest could also hinge on the considerable public funding which has gone into the stadium and support for operations.

    Remember, state colleges belong to the citizens of Washington, not the schools athletic department.

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