Husky Stadium might be ‘too much’

By John Owen | Nov 22, 2011

If you believe what you read in the daily newspapers, Husky football fans are misty eyed over the  demolition of Husky Stadium.

Take another look at those eyes.  They're not misty, they're bloodshot.

Oh, I'll admit recollections of  Husky football as it used to be played may provoke nostalgia.  

I attended all of the UW home games and used to follow a pre-game ritual.  After parking my car I would often check out the tailgating scene, but then I'd cross the bridge to wander the upper campus.  

Fans  would be crossing the quad, carrying blankets and a thermos or two.  They might slow as they wandered past classrooms they once attended.  

Some were lured into free, pre-game lectures in one of the campus halls.  

Others would stomp their way through the fallen leaves kicking up memories of other autumn afternoons on the student pathways.

Eventually, I'd enter the stadium gates and take an elevator to the pressbox, a few minutes before the 12:30 kickoff.

These days, spectators, including Dog Fans from Snohomish County, noted that the sun  was already low in the sky at kickoff for the Husky-Oregon match.

That game started at 7:30 p.m.  It ended near 11 p.m., when spectators began to fight their way to the vast parking lots, then maneuver through choked streets toward I-5 which was also choked in all lanes.  

By midnight in Shoreline, Edmonds and Lynnwood the UW supporters weren't misty eyed.

They were cussing the Huskies for losing and at the administration willing to play their games in the dark of night so they can pick up more than a few bucks from the television networks.

The Huskies will soon begin peddling tickets for the new,  250 million-dollar replacement for UW Stadium.  

Those paying the considerable cost for season tickets should be aware that their preferences for afternoon games will be ignored.

The games will be scheduled whenever the TV money dictates.

Better that you should tell the UW sports administration to shove their tickets under their hip pads.  Watch the games on TV, instead.

Of course that makes you wonder why a quarter of a billion should be spent on a new stadium.  

The answer is, it shouldn't happen.

The UW should play their home games downtown, renting the first-class facility from the Seahawks six Saturdays a year.

It would be a win-win situation for the University.  

Knock down the old stadium, replace it with a needed  student dorm, or a medical school-hospital extension.

You say the students shouldn't have to drive downtown for a game?

UCLA students drive from Westwood to Pasadena, to play their home games in the Rose Bowl.  

Besides that, the UW sports administrators don't give a hoot about the students.

Their first action in announcing plans for the new stadium was that students would be kicked out of their traditional seats in the north grandstand and will be banished to the end zone. 

Certainly one of those pre-game campus lectures during the misty-eyed  era must have explored an economic phenomena known as "conspicuous consumption."  

The new Husky pigskin palace should serve as exhibit A.  

And if you are still not convinced that our priorities are out of whack, consider that the UW head football coach earns $1.98 million a year.

His often criticized defensive coach makes $650,000.  The governor of the state is paid $151,000.

It makes you misty-eyed.  But those are real tears. 

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