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University of Washington - Official Athletic Site

 Husky Athletics Director Todd Turner
University of Washington Director of Athletics Todd Turner will conducted a press briefing on Nov. 30 to present the status of the department's ongoing athletics facilities study. Among the issues that will were discussed were future possibilities for improvements at Husky Stadium and potential upgrades to various other athletics facilities.

An archived stream of Turner's briefing via the Dawg Channel on GoHuskies.com is available.

Afterwards, Turner conducted a live chat with Husky fans. A transcript of that chat is below

And in case you have missed it, read Turner's Top Dawg Blogs regarding the facility plans by clicking here.

GoHuskies.com: Hello Husky fans. We're here with Todd Turner right now, so get your questions in.

Kevin H. (Bellevue): I am curious as to when construction on Husky Stadium is going to start? Are there any plans for the Huskies to play in Qwest Field?
Athletics Director Todd Turner: That's hard to determine at this point. Ideally, anything we end up doing in Husky Stadium should be concurrent with the work associated with the Sound Transit Station project. That is set to begin after the 2008 FB season. So, the earliest we could do anything substantial would be after 2008. That said, the design and permitting process is exceedingly tedious/long, so it may be later than 2008 for us. Again, this is all contingent upon identifying funding, so...no funding...no progress! We have begun to think about playing at Qwest, but only if we have to. Our preference would be to work around our own schedule and play in Husky Stadium. But, given the complexities of any construction particularly in regard to the STS, it is difficult to predict now whether or not we would have to consider a season at Qwest.

Jabari (Lake City): I've heard that the basketball teams are remodeling their locker rooms. How is that process going and when can we expect them to be completed?
Athletics Director Todd Turner: Yes, we are in the final stages of some updating of the locker rooms for men's and women's basketball and volleyball. They include the addition of media classrooms, which are badly needed. In addition, we will be doing some decorating with new lockers, furnishings, and Husky memorabilia. The project also includes dressing up the lower hallways of Hec. Ed./BOAA where we typically take our prospects!

James (Seattle): What plans have been made improvements to the baseball stadium? Any type of covering from the rain for the fans?
Athletics Director Todd Turner: We actually are beginning the baseball/soccer renovation project as we speak. The athletics department is investing the money to get the support services (sewer/water/electricity/etc.) out to the site...i.e. all of the non-sexy underground stuff, so that work on the stadium itself can begin. As always, funding needs to be secured to make this happen, but a few of our loyal baseball and soccer people have demonstrated an interest in helping get restrooms, concessions stands, ticket offices, team room, and press facilities built. Upgrades in seating and in the dugouts come next. Soccer awaits a decision regarding the relocation of the track...provided we decide to move it from the stadium, in which case it would likely go around the soccer field at its current location. Covering for seating is something we need to study...it surely would be nice.

Al (S.P): There were rumors of a new basketball video board? Are these treue? When will it be installed?
Athletics Director Todd Turner: Oh yeah! We're are in the final stages of selecting and purchasing the equipment we need to make this happen. We hope it will be later this season, but are at the mercy of the manufacturer. Let's hope this happens!

Aaron (Spokane): The pictures looks absolutely amazing. Is there an estimate as to the new seating capacity?
Athletics Director Todd Turner: One of our goals in any plans for Husky Stadium is to maintain the current seating capacity. There is no plan to increase the size...the infrastructure and site can't handle much more than we've already got. So, 72,500 is what it is.

Mario (Leavenworth, WA): WOW, I was blown away with the plans for Husky Stadium... err, the "possible" plans for Husky Stadium. What are some of the ideas for fan experience improvements in the new stadium?
Athletics Director Todd Turner: I don't have to tell you how old some of the support facilities are in the stadium...the restrooms on the south side are '40s vintage; the elevators are from the same era. I hope that everything about going to a game in the stadium would be better...restrooms, concessions stands, parking, vertical circulation(elevators), seating (no more wooden benches), improved access 360 degrees around the stadium concourse. There is just so much potential...we will work through every detail.

Bobby (Lake City): Mr. Turner, I love coming to UW games and have been a season ticket holder for years. And, I plan to have season tickets till I die. One thing that has peaked my curiosity over the years is the lack of physical identity at the University of Washington. There is no real landmark "front gate" to the campus. I was thinking that the new Husky Stadium could serve exactly as that. Any thoughts?
Athletics Director Todd Turner: One of the goals identified by our facilities study committee was to create a better front door for the University adjacent to the stadium. This is a high priority and, when coupled with the STS project, presents the perfect opportunity to address this objective.

Mark (Yakima): What about the football center that was talked about last year? I think you raised 6 million or so and I thought it was going to happen? Is that still true?
Athletics Director Todd Turner: You are talking about our Football Legends Center. This facility is in the final bid process and will be constructed adjacent to the current weight room/football offices at the Graves Annex Building. This is just to the north of the stadium. We are planning to open this center, which will celebrate our great Husky Football traditions and history, early next fall. It is going to be an awesome addition to our campus.

Al (S.P): Can we use the space between east end zone and practice field for football offices?
Athletics Director Todd Turner: Yes, we have studied this as a location and it would work. However, it may be more cost effective to put the football support facilities in a renovated/relocated west end zone. Some of these facilities could go under the west end seats with other offices/etc. included above ground facing Montlake Blvd. It could form a new "front door" for the athletics department and the football program. We will continue to study all of these options.
Athletics Director Todd Turner: Thanks for your questions. There were many we could not get to this afternoon. I appreciate your support of the Huskies! Today and every day is a great day to be a DAWG!

 
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