Here are the highlights of Thursday's live chat with Scott Woodward, University of Washington athletic director.
Here are highlights of an exclusive live chat Thursday with Scott Woodward, University of Washington athletic director. He answered questions about the Husky Stadium renovation, tailgating at Qwest Field and Lorenzo Romar.
Q: How’s stadium funding going?
Woodward: It’s going as planned. Our donors are generously giving, and we have a lot of hard work ahead of us.
Q: How do you assess the performance of coach Lorenzo Romar? How are we going to step up and really become an elite team?
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Woodward: Excellent. We need to continue to be competitive in recruiting, facilities and overall as a team. It’s been disappointing that we have missed out on top recruits to the “elite” programs, but I think it will change.
Q: What will be the tailgating policy for the 2012 season at Qwest Field?
Woodward: It’s going to be a different experience, but we are going to try to work around stadium and city issues that we can’t control.
Q: Any more information regarding the football-operations building?
Woodward: It will be a 70,000-square foot, state-of-the-art facility built into the west side of Husky Stadium. It will include separate training rooms, locker rooms, equipment rooms, weight room, meeting rooms and offices for our football coaches. These facilities have become standard in most big-time BCS programs.
Q: Can we play a men’s soccer game at Qwest Field before a Sounders FC game, and tap into Sounders fever?
Woodward: Coach Jamie Clark has a very strong and close relationship with the Sounders organization, and I would not be surprised if something like what you mentioned is a possibility in the near future.
Q: Any plans to sell naming rights to Husky Stadium?
Woodward: Our first hope is an individual stepping up for naming the field at Husky Stadium. Our second choice is a corporate sponsor with finite terms, not in perpetuity. The stadium will remain Husky Stadium.
Q: Any plans about the new location of the track?
Woodward: A new stand-alone track will be north of the soccer complex.
Q: What’s the impact of moving the students and losing the track on crowd noise?
Woodward: The designers and architects promise us that the newly designed Husky Stadium will be louder because the removal of the track allows the stands to be closer to the field. The new stands will end essentially in Lane 4 of the current track and the west side will be drastically closer.
Q: How involved was Steve Sarkisian with the design of the football-operations center?
Woodward: Intimately, as well as former coach Jim Lambright, former Husky Jim Mora and numerous planners/architects who have designed many football-operations centers.
Q: Will the tunnel be the same?
Woodward: It will be largely the same and in the same place. It was an important item from a tradition standpoint. The visiting team will no longer share the tunnel. It will be only for the Huskies.
Q: Had any Creole/Cajun food since you’ve been in Seattle? What’s better, salmon or crawfish?
Woodward: Both. Toulouse Petit in the Queen Anne neighborhood is excellent.