As I noted earlier, media today got about a 90-minute briefing and tour of the renovation of Husky Stadium.
What may be the biggest bullet point news item is that everything has apparently gone to plan and is on schedule.
“On time and on budget and that’s music to my ears,” said UW athletic director Scott Woodward.
UW hoped to raise $50 million by the time construction is completed for the 2013 season and Woodward said today UW has raised $48.5 million already. “That’s a hell of a testament to our donors and how much they believe in this program,” he said.
The rest of the funding for the $250 million project will come largely from revenue from the stadium itself.
In terms of the construction, UW officials said there have so far been no surprises and no delays.
“The only surprises so far have been pleasant surprises,” said Bob Collier, a project consultant.
Here’s a general timeline, and as you’ll see in some of the video below, there is already major headway on the football operations building. Collier said the South stands should begin to go up June 15.
Chip Lydum, UW’s associate athletic director for operations and capital projects, said UW caught a break with the pleasant December/January weather which made the excavation phase a lot easier. (There was one minor hiccup with a crane, but officials said that did not cause any delays).
Also, Lydum said today there is no exact number set yet for capacity, though it will likely be right around 70,000. That’s officially less than the listed capacity of 72,500 of the old stadium. But officials note some of those were obstructed view, which won’t be the case in the new stadium. “There will be many more better seats than we have currently,” Woodward said.
There had also been some concern how the renovation would co-exist with the SoundTransit project. But John Palewicz, UW’s director of capital projects, said that also as not been an issue. “Everybody has gone overboard to make sure it works really well,” he said.
Woodward also said that UW has sold out of its club seats and its 30 patio suites for the new stadium, and that there are just “5 to 8” of the 25 luxury suites remaining (all seating options can be found here).
Woodward also reported that UW is at a 95 percent renewal rate for season tickets for next year at CenturyLink Field which he said is “incredible.” He said he thought there would be more falloff with some fans not wanting to go to CenturyLink for the year. “I was doubtful, but proven wrong,” he said. UW sold 42,500 last season.
Now for some video, though first some explanation. I took a lot, and most of it is pretty raw. But a lot of you have indicated you like as much of this stuff as you can get, so I’ll pass it along.
In a few of the videos, you can hear Lydum talking to us about various aspects of the construction.
Also, I generally made each video its own entry as I’ve been told there can be issues with the entries that have multiple videos. But since there are so many to pass along, I’m going to try to post them all on this one entry and see how that goes. Each of these is no more than about a minute.
So here are the videos:
First, here’s a view of what it looks like from the Don James Center:
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Next, here’s a look through the tunnel:
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Here’s Lydum talking about the football operations building:
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Here’s more of Lydum talking about the football ops building:
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Here’s a view of the construction of the South stands:
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Here’s a view from the middle of the football operations building:
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Here’s a view from the middle of the field:
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Here’s a look at the outside of the tunnel:
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Here’s a look at the renovation from the North side:
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And finally, another view of the construction of the football operations building:
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