|Huskies playing the Bruins on Thursday night|
We are not big sports followers but attending a Huskies' football game was something I had been thinking about since we moved to Seattle. On Thursday night the University of Washington was playing UCLA for a prime time game. This was a big game for the Huskies and was broadcast on ESPN. Of coarse 62,000 people gathering in one location is bound to be a traffic disaster let alone at 5 pm on a weeknight in Seattle. To avoid this Molly and I rode our bikes to campus, locked them in her lab, and then walked down to the stadium. Husky stadium is quite impressive, it is the largest in the northwest and can hold over 72,000 people. Husky stadium is also know for being the loudest in the nation The stadium is also impressive in that it overlooks Lake Washington and has views of the Cascades and even Mt. Rainier. It was dark so we didn't really get to enjoy the views but I was thoroughly impressed by the engineering of the stadium. Anyways, it was a good game, I would say more but if are really a fan you would have already read about it in the news. Most importantly the Husky's beat UCLA! WOOF WOOF
UW agreed to host a weekday game last year, and it became very clear this fall that the UW administration had no idea that there would be a serious backlash of angry UW employees and students who were inconvenienced due to the game...because this game was on a weekday at 5pm, it created a lot more havoc than a regular weekend game does (and if you live near the U District, you know that a weekend game creates plenty of chaos already). What ended up happening is that many classes were canceled and employees and students were encouraged to work from home or leave early if at all possible. Those that couldn't work from home were encouraged to walk, bike, or ride public transportation rather than drive. Ryan and I chose to ride bikes because I had the feeling that about 10,000 other people would be trying to board the 65 bus at the same time as us.
Not only was there a fair amount of backlash over the inconvenience of hosting a weekday game, but Thursday was also coincidentally the day the Board of Regents voted to approve a $250 million remodel of Husky Stadium. While we all know the role that athletics play in public universities in America, in a climate where academic programs are being cut and tuition is drastically rising, you could imagine how some students feel about UW borrowing $250 million internally to remodel a stadium that doesn't seem to have anything wrong with it. Apparently the remodel will all be paid for by private donations, but that is once they raise the money. In the meantime they will borrow it from a pot of internal money for renovations. After the renovation, the student section will be moved from the 50 yard line where it is now, to the west end of the stadium and student tickets will almost triple in price. I find that a bit sad, but I know people love football and I'm sure soon enough there will be a whole new set of college students who won't remember when season tickets were $125 and were at the 50 yard line. Go huskies.