In an attempt to stem the flow of fans flocking to “The Zone” during games at Husky Stadium, the University of Washington athletic department has created a premium section in the popular tailgating area that will be open during halftime only to those who have purchased VIP tickets.
The “ZonePass” is available to 500 fans in the premium area of The Zone and costs $79 for a full season. The change goes into effect starting with Saturday’s home opener against Montana. The ZonePass will cost $10 for this weekend’s game.
The Zone will remain open to all fans with a game ticket during the three hours before kickoff. But The Zone will only be open at halftime those with a VIP pass.
In the past, upwards of 3,000 fans would rush out of the stadium and into The Zone at halftime.
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“Fan preference data showed us two clear insights: our fanbase has a tremendous appetite for additional premium opportunities, and there is a frustration with the volume of fans in The Zone at halftime,” UW senior associated athletic director Roy Shick said in a news release. “We believe these new policies will help us take a big step in a direction that allows us to service our fans better.”
On Saturday, UW will also introduce a third designated beer garden below the scoreboard behind the east end zone, next to The Zone. Two other beer gardens at Husky Stadium are located in the northwest corner (the “Off Leash Deck”) and another above section 101.