Archive for December, 2009

Images of a renovated Husky Stadium

View from the 520 bridge direction:


View from Press box:


South end:


View from South-side lower bowl:


View form east end bleachers


View of stadium looking out at Lake Washington:


You can easily see the change in the old “U-shaped” horseshoe:



Comments (5)

How much will Husky Stadium renovation cost you?


As we enter 2010 the University of Washington will again ask the state legislature permission to use existing tax revenue for the Husky Stadium renovation. The current tax break down is as follows:


Revenue Source


Estimated Amount


0.5% food and beverage tax

Currently used to pay Safeco field bonds

$65 million


2% car rental tax

Currently used to pay Safeco field bonds

$15 million


1% car rental tax

Mainly used towards Kingdome bonds

$13 million


2% hotel tax

Currently used for the Kingdome and Qwest field

$37 million

Sales tax deferral

Sales tax is deferred during renovation.  This will be repaid after completion.

$20 million

If these “tourism taxes” as they are known are directed towards the renovation of the 90 year old facility, how much will the typical King County resident pay?

Food and beverage tax

I’m not the best cook in the world so I eat out often, perhaps three times a week. A typical restaurant for me is Red Robin, Coho café, Claim Jumper, etc. So I can spend $20.00 per sitting. At 60 bucks a week I’m easily spending $3,000 a year at restaurants. My tax would then be $15.00 (0.5% of $3,000) each year for three years. Total payment: $45.

2% car rental tax

How often do people rent cars where they live? Not very often, but I have done it on occasion to use on long driving vacations. Renting a Ford sedan for a week could be $300. My 2% contribution comes out to be: $6

1% car rental tax

From 2015 to 2028 we will see a 1% car rental tax (down from the 2% tax). For the sake of argument that’s again assume I rent a couple of cars for a week each during this timeframe. That’s two cars at $300 each. A 1% tax makes my total payment: $6

2% hotel tax

How often do I stay in hotels in King County? Let me think…mmm… never. Well okay, that’s not really true. My insurance company put me up in a couple hotels when my condo was being renovated – but I didn’t have to foot that bill. But let’s just say I rent a hotel for a couple nights during this timeframe that cost me $200. 2% of that: $4.

Total Cost

So how much will the Husky Stadium renovation cost me? $45+$6+$6+$4 = $61. A year? No, $61 TOTAL. That’s paying $61 over 16 years, or under $4 a year – roughly a quarter a month if you like.

How does this compare to my other costs? Here is a chart that spells out my monthly, yearly, and 16-year costs of common monthly payments (gasoline, iPhone, cable TV, Starbucks).


Monthly cost

Yearly cost

16-year cost









Comcast cable TV




Starbucks (once/wk)




Starbucks change

$1.45 ($.37 x 4)



Husky Stadium Renovation




Plotted as a Histogram it’s easy to see how minimal these taxes really are for the residents of King County:

Stadium Cost Histogram 2

Where will the residence of this county find this money? How about ordering water instead of a soda a few times a year? Or ordering a tall instead of the grande when you visit Starbucks? Or try the matinee instead of an evening movie every now and then. These are insignificant things to give up.

For the opportunity to renovate the oldest stadium west of the Mississippi – to help the football team who has faithfully entertained Western Washington for over a century – to assist the team with two national championships, seven rose bowl titles and owner of the nation’s longest unbeaten streak – to lend a hand to a team that won’t abandon the faithful fans of this state for another city – $4 is the deal of the century.

Comments (2)