Martin Duke at Seattle Transit Blog thinks they should. The University is asking for the redirection of $150 million in tourism taxes to repair Husky Stadium, which is located above what will soon be a light rail station. Writes Duke,
[T]here are far too many productive uses for this land to have it house a
stadium used at most 6 or 7 times a year and a giant surface parking
lot. If the UW didn't want to build anything there to make the lives
of their students and employees easier, simply selling the whole thing
to a developer would probably patch that hole in the endowment pretty
I grew up going to Husky football games and have many fond memories of the stadium, but Duke's argument makes sense. Obviously, it's the University's land to do with what it likes. But it certainly seems like the school and the region could derive a lot more benefit from other uses.
UW President Mark Emmert addresses the Qwest question on his funding plea site, noting that moving the team to Qwest would cut UW's share of game revenue--the biggest source of funding for its athletic department--and create scheduling difficulties. (Most notably, the Sounders also play on Saturdays.)
But my favorite justification for UW's objection to the move is this one:
University athletics are under the umbrella of the broader academic
programs and mission of the university. Moving these games from campus
to a professional facility would weaken these ties and send the wrong
message about the interconnectedness of athletics and academics.
If you believe that, my friend Bernie Madoff has a great investment he'd love for you to be a part of.