January 26, 2008
Dead But Not Buried
House Speaker Frank Chopp may have declared the demise of renovation proposals for Husky Stadium in this legislative session, but odds are it'll come back.
Initial reaction to the proposal in Olympia seems to have included a fair amount of this thinking: "State funding for another Seattle stadium? Hell no!"
Give the University a year to make its case, especially the fact the proposal is based heavily on specialty taxes collected in King County - plus a lot of donor money - and the odds will probably improve. Another year in the process of the Sonics leaving town will probably clarify matters too, especially when compared to the permanency of the UW as a Northwest institution.
Posted by Eric Earling at January 26, 2008
11:24 AM | Email This
it I wouldn't be surprised to see some version of the Husky stadium proposal pass in 2009.
We noticed last night on the local news that Husky Stadium is now being portrayed as "unsafe". Expect that to be the new angle.
Maybe they can throw in that we need a new stadium "for the children" just for good measure.
This is just so stupid. Why not simply go out and find some wealthy UW alumnus, alumna or group of alumni that wants their name on stadium renovations. This is done all the time with science buildings, language buildings, dorms, etc. Funded privately.
It's much quicker to get a small group together than it is to debate the issue endlessly in Olympia, and frankly Olympia has so much more important business to conduct. You know, like banning plastic bags, which represent an ifinitely small percentage of total plastic creation and usage in our economy.
The taxes that were used for the other stadiums and were talked about being expanded to pay for the Sonics arena could probably cover the entirety of the UW's request with some room to spare.
While there is a limit, civic structures like Husky Stadium help improve the livability of a region. Couple that with the fact that we are talking about a public entity whose profits are all kept within the organization and help support student education and I have no problem with the state kicking in.
Not to mention the "blue ribbon panels", consultants, and the other bs that is inevitable when the left does anything more complicated than buying paperclips.
End result? Whatever the original price to renovate the stadium might be, you can triple it.
5. What?! I don't understand why UW can't self finance this. They should have more than enough money from students, alumni, and concessions to cover the cost. Why make people who never go to Husky games or use the stadium pay for a small segment of the population? UW is not exactly a "poor" school. I'm sure it's graduates make more than enough money to pay for the new stadium. Charge more for tickets, charge more for parking around the stadium, charge more for student tickets. I would like to see the University attempt to self finance before asking for money. It seems like they didn't even do that.
6. Does anyone know exactly how much football revenue is siphoned off to support Title IX compliance at the UW? My guess is that left to its own devices, the football program could, in fact, finance 100% of the stadium inmmprovements. However, Title IX effecively precludes that alternative. One way you could look at this is that the UW is simply asking the state to assist in the restoration of an income straem that the feds took away 35 years ago. If a free market system were allowed to exist in college athletics, funding of the improvements would likely not be a problem.
I think the answer is to build a casino on the ground floor of the new stadium.
That way, during the annual butt-kicking from USC,Oregon,or UCLA, students and alumni can retire once the game is hopeless to the casino for gambling, free drinks and a chance to support the University.
Beats raising taxes.
Taxes should not subsidize athletics, whether college or professional. For that matter, taxes should not subsidize education, especially not college education. All such education should be privatized. I guess I could see taxpayer-funded college tuition assistance based on need, but one day even that should be taken over by private charities.
Practically, it is a matter of priorities of government. Police service is more important than athletics, and the right to property and the benefits of lower sales and property taxes FAR outweight any benefits to subsidizing college athletics.
This is about winning the votes of Husky fans. It is pandering and it is disgusting. Bread and circuses. It will even wind up hurting the poor it was partially pitched as helping because the increased taxation that funded it will reduce employment and wages for the poor. The politicians who support this are either ignorant or evil.
9. Have a beer, Bruce. You'll feel better.
10. Tim is absolutely right. The men's BB program is a bit profitable but the football program is the department's cash cow - except for mens BB, funds generated from the football program support EVERY other sport at UW, for both men and women, and pay for the other facilities as well. If the state subsidized those other sports (as they do at UW and every other state school) and left the football program to its own devices they likely could pay for it themselves.
11. Bill C. @ 9: Mmmm! Guinness! Yummy! :)
I wonder if Ron Paul drinks Guinness. Somehow I doubt it.
Just teasing, Bruce. At least we've found something we can agree on!
I think this is mostly about UW president Emmert being able to hold his head up high when visiting fellow college smooze artists visit Husky Stadium.
There will be no public vote. The emergency clause will be invoked.
I predict the classic footage of the clamshelling of the stadium a decade or two ago will be shown on TV to prove the danger associated with old stadiums.
Anyone know how much that little mistake cost? Did the contractor's insurer pay, or did the public?
14. @12, I'm in complete agreement with you both... at least about Guinness ;)
It'll never get funded by the taxpayers. With the pure crap this legislature is passing this session, we will certainly have a new legislative mix in 2009. And also a fiscal conservative as a NEW governor.
Otherwise Gregoire's 7% income tax hike with no sales tax elimination, will take a front seat in her continual milking of the citizens.
16. Let's take a look at their endowment first. I'm all for helping those who can't help themselves... but when a man has a brand new plasma screen TV...I'm not to sympathetic to his situation regarding food for his kids lack of nutrition.
UW's endowment is $2.07 Billion
Football Revenue: "After falling nearly 11 percent during the 2005 fiscal year, football revenue increased 17 percent in the 2006 fiscal year to $31.7 million." From BizJournal.
Who does building a new stadium burden and who does it benefit?! It burdens everyone, but benefits only UW students/alumni!
From the Daily:
"When your football team wins, it's better for everyone, literally everyone," he said.
Especially other student-athletes.
Washington has around 800 of them, and the vast majority plays neither football nor basketball. The students who rely on revenue from football and basketball because their sports generate none are the foundation of UW athletics, Emmert said.
I don't understand why UW can't raise the money themselves?! Are they just lazy or dumb.
They can raise money through increase in Licensing Fees, Ticket Prices, Advertising Fee, Alumni, etc.
18. Eric, it is not based heavily on specialty taxes collected in King County. It is mostly from the state general fund. Give me a call and I will explain.
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20. Uh Oh! The Huskies may soon be moving to Oklahoma City...