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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

November 4, 2008 at 2:57 PM

UW stadium renovation

Mark Harrison / The Seattle Times

High-school bands join the University of Washington band to practice for the halftime show on band day at Husky Stadium.

This could work

Editor, The Times:

UW [University of Washington] Regents recently announced approval for predevelopment expenses to renovate Husky Stadium [“Predevelopment of Husky Stadium plans approved,” Sports, Oct. 16]. As an alumnus of UW as well as a football season-ticket holder, I would like to lay out a plan for the fans to pay $75 million of the renovation through issuance by the University of municipal revenue bonds.

This proposal would reduce the amount of funds the university would request from the state and allow the process to move forward. The university could issue the principal $75 million of 30-year municipal revenue bonds.

Interest would be paid by a $10 levy on each ticket sold to season-ticket holders as well as single-game tickets, with the levy on a graduated scale over the 30 years. Starting in 2010, based on average attendance this levy would cover the annual interest payments.

This levy rate would also create an annual excess in revenue collected that would go into a trust managed by the school. This trust would grow in excess of $75 million and pay off the principal of the bonds in year 30.

However, this trust would serve as its own insurance fund for the bonds, if attendance rates were to fall and thus the levy rate didn’t cover the interest. This trust would serve as a subordinate tranche to cover annual interest shortfalls until attendance once again reached levels sufficient to cover annual payments.

As a season-ticket holder and fan who desperately wants the stadium renovated, I would be more than willing to do my part to pay for the renovation — both through the levy as well as individually purchasing a portion of the bond issuance.

— Jamie Cobb, Mill Creek

Comments | More in Education, Seattle, Washington Legislature

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