After an almost-two-year renovation, UW’s Husky Stadium reopens on August 31, when the Dawgs host Boise State in the first game of the 2013–14 season. Here’s a preview of all the bells, whistles, and bathrooms—and a look back at the field’s 93-year history

• Legroom in the south upper deck increased from 27 to 33 inches, and fans will be closer to the action: With the track removed and the field lowered by four feet, front-row seats are just 43 feet from the field and 23 feet from the end zones, among the closest in college football.

• In a bid for LEED Gold certification (they can’t officially apply until the stadium is open), developers recycled 96 percent of debris and waste from the former structure, including 5,529 tons of steel from the demolished south grandstand and 26,292 tons of concrete. Even aluminum benches from the old stadium were repurposed as bar counters in the new one.

• Now that the entire fan concourse is covered, you won’t have to go out in the rain to take a bathroom break. And when you get there, there’ll be 20 percent more toilets and urinals—427 for men and 457 for women.

• Not everything is recycled; new stuff abounds. Like the 2,500 club seats and 67 suites added as expensive premium seating. Each 500-square-foot suite includes 18 leather seats, a private refrigerator and bar, multiple high-def flat-screen TVs, complimentary priority parking passes, and customized catering and beverage service. Season tickets cost $499 per seat—plus a $60,000-per-suite annual donation and a Tyee Club membership, that is. 

• Student seating was relocated from the north lower deck to the upper west end zone, a controversial move among student ticket holders who argue that the new seats are worse. In response, the university lowered season ticket prices from $125 to $99. (And if we were students, we wouldn’t complain too much about the view of Lake Washington to the east.) 

 

Washington Field to Husky Stadium

1920
On November 27, construction of the $600,000, 24,500-seat Washington Field is completed, just 12 hours before kickoff. Dartmouth beat UW 28 to 7 on a field made entirely of rocks and dirt. Tickets cost just $1.


1950
The stadium is expanded to 55,000 seats, at a price of $1.7 million, financed by the Associated Students of the University of Washington. 

 

1960s
The nickname “Husky Stadium” emerges—and sticks. 

1968 
UW becomes the first college in the nation to install Astroturf.


 


1987
An upper deck is added to the north side of the stadium, increasing capacity to 72,500.


2011
The renovation process begins with the demolition of the north lower bowl.


August 31, 2013
The new Husky Stadium opens. Renovations (including much-needed earthquake proofing) came to $250 million, including $50 million already raised in major gift contributions; the university will pay off the rest over the next 30 years. It’ll cost a tad more to attend games now than it did in 1920. Season tickets are $299 to $499.


Published: August 2013

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