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February 14, 2012 at 9:12 AM

Q-and-A with Scott Woodward, part two

Here’s the second part of our Q-and-A with UW athletic director Scott Woodward, this one focusing on the Husky Stadium renovation and some other issues:

Q: Is the progress of the renovation of Husky Stadium on schedule?

A: Yes. On time, on schedule. There have been no surprises or no big change orders from the standpoint of we found anything major that is a problem or that we didn’t foresee.

Q: There was the hiccup with incident with the crane in December. Did that cause any sort of delays?

A: I would barely even call that a hiccup. The crane was back in operation I think a day or two later. Here again, it was everyone looking for something bad to happen and it didn’t.

Q: How has the reception for the new stadium been from ticket buyers?

A: It’s been fantastic. Premium seat sales are in the process of being assigned right now (being completed this week) but the response from premium seats has been fantastic and we will do the rest of the seating later after we do seating for CenturyLink in the coming weeks.

Q: How has the reception been for tickets at CenturyLink?

A: We’re in the process of it but we are still very positive about it.

Q: Was it possible to tell if there was much of an impact on recruiting from the renovation?

A: I think so. (It shows) we are serious about what we do. Here again, I talk to recruits, they want to see the holistic picture — are we graduating kids, do we have the facilities to win championships, do we have the support to win championships. All of that across the board is very important to student-athletes and their families. Believe it or not, the really hard and good questions come from the non-revenue sports parents about ‘wow, you are making a serious investment here. We are very impressed.’ So it’s having a secondary, ripple affect down to our other sports.

Q: We’ve talked about the money coming in from the Pac-12’s TV deal (each school is expected to get an estimated $15-16 million in the first year of the deal in 2012-13). Are there any new specific plans on what to do with that other than some of the things we have seen, such as the increased investment in football?

A: No, because it hasn’t hit the bank account yet. But we are starting to plan and prudently plan on what we want to do and think about what we want to encumber for this money. Like I have said numerous times, we as an athletic department pay for these double-digit tuition increases. We pay for the increases in food services. We pay for the increases in transportation. We pay for these increases in coach’s salaries that we’ve just discussed. So we have to plan prudently so we can maintain a department that is financially and independently sound.

Q: Anything new or different about football scheduling going forward?

A: No, not really. There are obviously discussions about what and how we do it. But nothing concrete. We are still in that phase of what and how we are doing it.

Q: What has been the reaction from the UW fan base to the day-after-Thanksgiving Apple Cup next year in Pullman?

A: Not much because it’s in Pullman, obviously. I think it’s more of an issue for them. But there is talk positive and negative that ‘hey, there is nothing to do the Friday after Thanksgiving anyway, so it’s a good day to do it. It keeps your weekend open.’ And some people like it traditionally on Saturday. You have two schools of thought there.

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