Monday, February 28, 2011

Seattle Times article on Husky Stadium project (and the new track complex)...

Before calling it a night, I'm posting a link to a story written by the Seattle Times' University of Washington football and basketball beat writer Bob Condotta.

Condotta writes that as part of the Husky Stadium renovation project, the school will construct a new outdoor track & field facility north of the current Husky soccer field.

You can access his story here.

Some immediate, off the top of my head thoughts come to mind:

a) Will it have multiple long/high jump/pole vault pits/shot rings capable of running a decathlon competition, or a meet like a NCAA regional championship, like for example, Texas/Arkansas/Indiana/Oregon?

b) What direction will the layout of the track be? I'm no weather/wind expert, but the way the track will be laid out will be a factor in how fast the facility will be, and how the javelin and the discus will carry;

c) Will there be a hammer ring built in the stadium. or will the hammer be relegated outside the stadium?

d) Will the facility be capable of receiving an IAAF Class 1 or Class 2 certification?

Here is a link to the tracks around the world certified by the IAAF as being in those classes. Note there are only four tracks in the USA that are certified as a Class 1 facility: Hayward Field in Eugene (photo above of start of 2010 Nike Prefontaine Classic mile by Paul Merca); Icahn Stadium in New York; Hutsell-Rosen Track on the campus of Auburn University; and, John McDonnell Field on the campus of the University of Arkansas.

e) What kind of seating capacity will it have? At the very least, it should have enough permanent seats to attract a meet like the Washington state high school meet. Hopefully the folks who control the purse strings on the track stadium project have the foresight to think about meets like the NCAA championships, the USA championships, and with temporary seating, an Olympic Trials or a meet like the IAAF Continental Cup or World Championships?!?

f) If you dare to dream big (IAAF world championships big), is there a place for a practice track to be built near the track complex, along with the necessary amenities the IAAF requires for an event like the world championships? 

I'm not suggesting that the UW buid a track stadium capable of hosting the world championships, but if someone is crazy enough with a pipe dream of hosting the world championships in Seattle using temporary seating around that could hold enough folks for a meet this big and can pull off the funding for a meet that big...hey, I'm just throwing this thought out!

None of us will know the answer to any of these questions until the UW makes drawings of the proposed track complex available to the public.

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