From the shores of Lake Qualcomm on Thursday afternoon, Holiday Bowl fans could still see floodwaters pouring in from the earthen berm that broke along Murphy Canyon Creek last week.
However, officials were telling those same fans not to worry and that organizers had a handle on things, both inside and outside the stadium.
"We don't have anywhere near the volume of water that we did a week ago," said stadium manager Mike McSweeney. "The rain is letting up now. Our resources tell us the river willl not rise to the height that it did last time, and our drain system will be allowed to work well."
What will affect Holiday Bowl fans is the fact that about 3,000 of the stadium's 14,000 parking spaces will be unusable, covered either with water or mud. Fans who plan on driving to Thursday's game are being urged to get there early or carpool. The gates will open at 8 a.m., and the 11,000 remaining, usable spaces are expected to be filled in less than two hours.
Officials recommend taking the trolley, which carried 16,000 fans to last week's Poinsettia Bowl at Qualcomm Stadium. The bayside Blue Line from downtown through Old Town will run every 7.5 minutes. The Green Line from the east will run every 10-15 minutes, because of traction and power problems left over from last week.
"If you wait until the game is over and come to the platform, there are very long lines, but we carry 1,300 people every five minutes off the station platrofrm. So while those lines may wrap around the stadium, they go very quickly. I would encourage patrons not to be frustrated -- just be patient."
Thursday's game features No. 17 Nebraska (10-3) vs. Washington (6-6). This is a rematch of Nebraska's 56-21 blowout of the Huskies in Seattle on Sept. 18. The Cornhuskers are coming off a disappointing 23-20 loss to Oklahoma in the Big 12 championship game in which they blew a 17-point lead. The Huskies needed a 35-28 win over Washington State, the last-place team in the Pac-10, to become bowl eligible. The teams are scheduled to play again in Lincoln, Neb., on Sept. 17, 2011.