Light rail project means end of some tailgating spots for UW for at least five years
About 600 parking spots in the E-11 and E-12 lots southeast of Husky Stadium will not be available as a tunnel is built on Montlake Boulevard
Seattle Times staff reporter
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Washington's football game Saturday against California will not only mark the end of the season, but also the end of tailgating as Huskies fans have known it for years.
Soon after the game's conclusion, construction will begin on a Sound Transit project of a light rail tunnel that will connect Capitol Hill and UW. The UW station will be located on Montlake Boulevard. The project will take roughly 5 ½ years and the construction site will eventually grow to encompass six acres of the Husky Stadium parking lot area.
That means about 600 parking spots in the E-11 and E-12 lots will not be available during that time (all of E-11 and portions of E-12.) If all goes as planned, the project will be completed by the 2016 football season.
Those are lots used not only for parking but for pregame tailgating. Donors who use those lots and whose spots will no longer be available will be largely relocated to E-1. That's now a partially public for-pay lot on game day, but beginning next season it will be reserved solely for donors, forcing non-donors who have used the E-1 lots to go elsewhere.
School officials say they are in the process of trying to notify fans who will be impacted, and also held a news conference Monday to try to get out the word.
"It's real and it's big and it's here," said Chip Lydum, UW's associate athletic director for operations and capital projects. "It's [parking, tailgating] going to get constricted from where it has been."
The athletic department is working to find solutions for those who will be displaced and has information available at GoHuskies.com/soundtransit.
"We feel their pain, we really do," said Jen Cohen, UW's senior associate athletic director for advancement. "We get it that the gameday experience starts in the parking lot and it's a really important part of the experience."
Donors should get a packet from the school detailing how they will be impacted in January.
The Sound Transit project is separate from a proposed renovation of Husky Stadium. The school will try again in the next Legislative session early next year to receive public funding for that project, estimated now at $250 million to $275 million. If the funding comes through, the school hopes to begin construction shortly after the 2010 football season. School officials say the two projects can be done concurrently.
Game official OK
UW officials said Monday that Brad Feagan, a member of the chain crew, had neck surgery to repair an injury suffered in Saturday's game when he was run into by players and hit his head hard on the turf. But they said he is expected to make a full recovery.
"He will be OK," said coach Steve Sarkisian. "It was a serious injury, but I thought our doctors handled it extremely well. Looks like Brad is going to make a nice recovery. But it was a very serious moment, and one I want to recognize with Brad for all the work he's done for us, and the time he's put in."
Huskies offer tickets to police, military personnel
Sarkisian began his Monday news conference expressing sympathy for the families of the four police officers killed in Lakewood over the weekend.
The school is offering four free tickets to Saturday's game to all active police, military and fire department personnel — with applicable ID. Those interested can call or go to the Husky Ticket Office Monday-Friday during business hours, or the ticket window at the Northeast Plaza at Husky Stadium on Saturday. For info, call the UW ticket office at 206-543-2200.
Locker mum on future
Saturday's game could be the last for quarterback Jake Locker in a UW uniform if he decides to turn pro. But in his regular weekly meeting with the media Monday, Locker deflected any talk of his future, saying, "I'm not worried about that" when asked if he had thought that it could be his last game as a Husky.
Sarkisian reiterated previous comments that he and Locker will discuss it after the season.
• LB E.J. Savannah won't play Saturday because of a broken hand. He hasn't played since the Oregon game Oct. 24. Sarkisian also said that the school is filing paper work in an attempt to get a sixth year of eligibility for Savannah, who missed all of the 2005 and 2008 seasons. He is officially listed as a senior and will be honored as one of the team's 15 seniors before Saturday's game
• S Victor Aiyewa, who "got his bell rung" on a hard hit on a kickoff, according to Sarkisian, should be able to return this week. He was the only Husky injured Saturday.
Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or firstname.lastname@example.org
When vice president of Sub Pop Records Megan Jasper isn't running things at the office, she's working in her garden at her West Seattle home where she and her husband Brian spend time relaxing.