Alaska Airlines Field at Husky Stadium (colloquially known as simply Husky Stadium) is an outdoor football stadium in the northwest United States, located on the campus of the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington.
It has been the home of the Washington Huskies of the Pac-12 Conference since 1920, hosting its football games. The university also holds its annual commencement at the stadium in June. It is located at the southeastern corner of campus, between Montlake Boulevard N.E. and Union Bay, just north of the Montlake Cut. The stadium is served by the University of Washington Link light rail station, as well as several bus routes.
The stadium underwent a $280 million renovation that was completed in 2013. Its U-shaped design was specifically oriented (18.167° south of due east) to minimize glare from the early afternoon sun in the athletes' eyes. The stadium's open end overlooks scenic Lake Washington and the Cascade Mountains, including Mount Rainier. Prior to the 2013 renovation, its total capacity of 72,500 made it the largest stadium in the Pacific Northwest and one of the largest stadiums in college football.
"The Greatest Setting in College Football"
Looking west from Union Bay in 2015
Location in Washington
Location in the United States
|Location||University of Washington|
3800 Montlake Blvd NE
Seattle, Washington, U.S.
|Public transit||University of Washington station|
|Owner||University of Washington|
|Operator||University of Washington|
Natural grass (1938–1967)
|Broke ground||May 17, 1920|
|Opened||November 27, 1920|
August 31, 2013
|Renovated||1950, 1987, 2013|
|Expanded||1936, 1950, 1968, 1987|
($7.5 million in 2018)
$280 million (2013 renovation)
|Architect||Bebb and Gould|
360 Architecture (2012 renovation)
|General contractor||Puget Sound Bridge and Dredging Company|
|Washington Huskies (NCAA) (1920–2011, 2013–present)|
Seattle Seahawks (NFL) (2000–2001)
The original stadium was built 99 years ago in 1920 by Puget Sound Bridge and Dredging Company with a seating capacity of 30,000. It replaced Denny Field, located at the north end of campus, south of NE 45th St. and 20th Ave NE. Husky Stadium's first game was the concluding game of the 1920 season, a 28–7 loss to Dartmouth on November 27.
The capacity of the lower bowl was expanded with the addition of 10,000 seats around the rim in 1936, and a few thousand more in 1968. The first of the stadium's iconic covered grandstands was constructed in 1950, adding 15,000 seats to the south side.
In 1987, 13,000 seats were added with the construction of the north grandstand. Similar to the south stand, this structure included a cantilevered steel roof covering a portion of the lower seats. The project made headlines on February 25, 1987, when the grandstand collapsed during construction as a result of miscommunication between the workers and the contractor, which lead to the premature removal during the intended replacement of several support cables. Although there were no casualties, property damage ranged from $500,000 to $1 million and resulted in setbacks.
Husky Stadium was a primary venue for the 1990 Goodwill Games, where the crowd saw an address by former President Ronald Reagan, as well as an address by Arnold Schwarzenegger, and a performance by the Moody Blues & Gorky Park. The stadium hosted the opening and closing ceremonies, as well as the track & field competition.
Husky Stadium was the temporary home of the Seattle Seahawks for five games (two preseason and three regular season) in 1994 while the Kingdome was temporarily closed for repairs to its damaged roof. After the demolition of the Kingdome in March 2000, the Seahawks played at Husky Stadium for the 2000 and 2001 seasons before moving into Seahawks Stadium (now CenturyLink Field) in 2002.
The playing field at Husky Stadium was originally dirt, which was then replaced with natural grass in 1938. In 1968, Washington became one of the first major college teams to play on AstroTurf at home; at the time, the Houston Astrodome and Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tennessee were the only major facilities to use the surface. The AstroTurf field was replaced in 1972, 1977, 1987, and 1995. FieldTurf, a new variation of synthetic turf, was installed in 2000 at a cost of $1,074,958. The new turf features enhanced drainage and reduced abrasion through the use of synthetic fibers that are tufted into an infill of sand and rubber. The project was funded by Seattle Seahawks owner Paul Allen, who used Husky Stadium as a temporary home venue during the construction of CenturyLink Field. The first of its kind in the NFL, the surface was so popular with the players that the Seahawks, who had planned to use natural grass at their new stadium, instead installed their own FieldTurf surface. The FieldTurf at Husky Stadium was replaced with a newer one after nine seasons in 2009 at a cost of $350,000.
In addition to the new playing surface, the Seahawks made other improvements to Husky stadium in preparation for its tenure as an NFL venue for two seasons. A larger scoreboard debuted in 1998, with a 23-by-42-foot (7.0 m × 12.8 m) "HuskyTron" video screen. Improved lighting for television, including corner lights, was added in 1999, and official NFL goalposts (optic yellow, 40 ft (12.2 m) in height) were installed in 2000.
The Husky Stadium end zones were painted gold during the 1980s and early 1990s; the new AstroTurf in 1995 changed them to purple. They became natural green with the installation of FieldTurf in 2000, which lasted until 2009 when they reverted to gold for one season. Purple end zones returned prior the 2010 season, and were temporarily painted black for the Huskies' first "blackout" game against UCLA on November 18.
On September 3, 2015, Alaska Airlines purchased naming rights to the field, which changed the official name to "Alaska Airlines Field at Husky Stadium". The agreement, in which the university will receive $41 million over 10 years, became the largest of its kind in college athletics.
Many claim that the first audience wave originated in Husky Stadium on Halloween 1981, at the prompting of Husky band trumpeter Dave Hunter. Contrary to Hunter's account, former Washington yell leader Robb Weller has also claimed credit for the first wave. Weller was the guest yell-king during the Huskies' homecoming football game against Stanford. His initial concept for the wave was for it to travel vertically, from the bottom of the stands to the top, within the Husky student section. When the stunt was met with limited interest, he then decided to reverse the movement of the wave to travel from top to bottom. This failed miserably, as it was necessary to turn backward to see the wave progressing downward. Weller then gave up and returned his attention to the game. However, a fan named Omar Parker sitting on the open (east) end of the stadium at the student side started yelling "sideways". Weller did not hear him, but then many students tried to initiate a "sideways" wave on their own. After a few attempts, and more yelling of "sideways" by students, Weller took notice. He instructed the crowd to stand as he ran past. He moved along the track toward the open end of the stadium, explaining to the student crowd what he would do, then ran along the track toward the closed end of the stadium, in front of the student section. The stunt caught on after a couple of tries and continued around the entire stadium, and was then repeated throughout the rest of the game and the season. Longtime UW band director Bill Bissell also claimed co-creator credit with Weller, suggesting that the wave was devised by both of them prior to the game. The following week Bill Scott (known as "Bill the Beer Man") started the wave in Husky Stadium and also at the Seattle Seahawks game in the Kingdome.
Husky Stadium has long been recognized as one of the loudest stadiums in the nation. This is in part due to the stadium's design; almost 70% of the seats are located between the end zones, covered by cantilevered metal roofs that trap the sound.
At times, the high decibel levels typical of Husky games, in addition to fans stomping their feet in the bleachers, causes television cameras to shake. During the 1992 night game against the Nebraska Cornhuskers, ESPN measured the noise level at over 130 decibels, well above the threshold of pain. The maximum recorded level of 133.6 decibels, according to ESPN, is the highest ever recorded for a college football stadium.
Husky Stadium is unusual in that fans can travel to football games by boat, known locally as "sailgating" (other stadiums with this feature include Neyland Stadium at Tennessee, Heinz Field at Pittsburgh, and McLane Stadium at Baylor). There can be upwards of 12,000 people out on Lake Washington next to Husky Stadium during game days. Before kickoff, the Washington crew team offers shuttles to anyone that wants to go to and from the boats and docks for the game.
The north and south parking lots are packed with cars for tailgating. There is currently controversy surrounding the south parking lot because the Pacific Interchange Option for expansion to the SR 520 Floating Bridge would effectively eliminate the south parking lot for tailgating.
Fans also gather at the Dempsey Indoor Facility just north of the stadium for Husky Huddles. After the game, the Tyee Sports Council and the University of Washington Athletic Department put on events where fans can gather and hear analysis of the game from Washington coaches and Husky Legends, and listen to the Husky Marching Band.
Husky Stadium had developed numerous structural problems over the years as a result of standing for nine decades in Seattle's moist weather, particularly in the lower bowl. In November 2011, Husky Stadium began a $261 million renovation, the largest single capital project in the history of the University of Washington. Home games were played at CenturyLink Field during the 2012 season while construction took place. The Apple Cup in 2011 was moved to CenturyLink to advance the start of the project by several weeks.
The new Husky Stadium was developed by Wright Runstad & Company, designed by 360 Architecture, and constructed by Turner Construction company. The steel decking was supplied by Profile Steel. The new stadium is the first and primary income source of a completely remodeled athletic district which includes a new $19 million Husky Ballpark, a new track and field stadium, renovated soccer stadium, $50 million basketball operations and practice facility and recently completed projects such as the Husky Legends Center, the Conibear Shellhouse and Alaska Airlines Arena renovations, and the construction of the Dempsey Indoor facility. This major remodel of the athletic village coincided with construction for an underground station for a northern extension of the Link Light Rail system and a replacement of the Evergreen Point Floating Bridge.
The renovation project incorporated a new grand concourse, press box, video and audio system, and football offices, as well as new and improved amenities, concession stands, and bathrooms. The track that had enclosed the playing field was removed, and the field itself lowered by four feet to make room for additional seating closer to the sidelines. The student section was relocated from the north sideline to the west end zone, and the temporary bleachers in the east end zone were replaced with a permanent structure featuring field-level suites. The addition of box suites reduced the seating capacity from 72,500 to 70,138. Despite the reduction in capacity, the renovated stadium is expected to be as loud as its predecessor. Additionally, new parking garages were constructed and facilities throughout the athletic village were renovated.
The NFL's Seattle Seahawks first played home games at Husky Stadium in 1994, while unplanned repairs were made to the interior ceiling of the Kingdome. A total of five Seahawk games were at Husky Stadium; two pre-season and three regular season. The Kingdome reopened for the final five home games, starting on November 6.
Between 1955 and 1975, Husky Stadium hosted 12 NFL preseason games. The San Francisco 49ers played six times at the stadium, the most of any team. Other teams to make multiple appearances include the New York Giants, Los Angeles Rams, Cleveland Browns, and Chicago/St. Louis Cardinals.
At one point after the 1970 NFL season, Ralph Wilson came close to moving the Buffalo Bills from dilapidated War Memorial Stadium to Husky Stadium. The threat of relocation prompted the developers in the Buffalo suburbs to construct Rich Stadium (later Ralph Wilson Stadium and now New Era Field), which opened in 1973. The Bills have resided there ever since.
| Home of the Seattle Seahawks
First half of 1994
2000 – 2001
The 1923 Washington Huskies football team was an American football team that represented the University of Washington during the 1923 college football season. In its third season under head coach Enoch Bagshaw, the team compiled a 10–1–1 record, finished in second place in the Pacific Coast Conference, tied with Navy in the 1924 Rose Bowl, and outscored all opponents by a combined total of 298 to 58. Wayne Hall was the team captain. 1923 marked the university's adoption of the Huskies nickname.1924 Washington Huskies football team
The 1924 Washington Huskies football team was an American football team that represented the University of Washington during the 1924 college football season. In its fourth season under head coach Enoch Bagshaw, the team compiled an 8–1–1 record, finished in third place in the Pacific Coast Conference, and outscored all opponents by a combined total of 355 to 24. Edwin Kuhn was the team captain.1927 Washington Huskies football team
The 1927 Washington Huskies football team was an American football team that represented the University of Washington during the 1927 college football season. In its seventh season under head coach Enoch Bagshaw, the team compiled a 9–2 record, finished in fourth place in the Pacific Coast Conference, and outscored all opponents by a combined total of 287 to 59. Earl Wilson was the team captain.1928 Washington Huskies football team
The 1928 Washington Huskies football team was an American football team that represented the University of Washington during the 1928 college football season. In its eighth season under head coach Enoch Bagshaw, the team compiled a 7–4 record, finished in eighth place in the Pacific Coast Conference, and outscored all opponents by a combined total of 188 to 74. Clarence Dicks was the team captain.1936 Washington Huskies football team
The 1936 Washington Huskies football team was an American football team that represented the University of Washington during the 1936 college football season. In its seventh season under head coach Jimmy Phelan, the team compiled a 7–2–1 record, finished in first place in the Pacific Coast Conference, was ranked #5 in the final AP Poll, lost to Pittsburgh in the 1937 Rose Bowl, and outscored all opponents by a combined total of 148 to 56. Chuck Bond was the team captain.1951 NCAA Track and Field Championships
The 1951 NCAA Track and Field Championships were contested at the 30th annual NCAA-hosted track meet to determine the team and individual national champions of men's collegiate track and field events in the United States. This year's meet was hosted by the University of Washington at Husky Stadium in Seattle.USC won their third consecutive team national championship, their 15th team title overall.1960 Washington Huskies football team
The 1960 Washington Huskies football team represented the University of Washington during the 1960 college football season. Home games were played on campus in Seattle at Husky Stadium.
Under fourth-year head coach Jim Owens, Washington was 9–1 in the regular season and 4–0 in the Athletic Association of Western Universities (AAWU). Led on the field by senior quarterback Bob Schloredt, an All-American the previous year, the Huskies started the season ranked third. Schloredt broke his collarbone in the fifth game, against UCLA, and did not play again in the regular season. Bob Hivner took over at quarterback and won the game plus the next five.
A one-point loss on a last-minute field goal by Orange Bowl-bound Navy two weeks earlier in Seattle was the season's only blemish. The Huskies returned to the Rose Bowl to meet the top-ranked Minnesota Golden Gophers of the Big Ten Conference on January 2. A seven-point underdog, sixth-ranked Washington upset Minnesota 17–7 for consecutive Rose Bowl wins. Schloredt returned at quarterback and was the player of the game for a second straight year.
The final rankings in this era were released at the end of the regular season, prior to the bowl games. Washington outscored all opponents by a combined total of 272 to 107.1977 Washington Huskies football team
The 1977 Washington Huskies football team represented the University of Washington in the 1977 NCAA Division I football season as a member of the Pacific-8 Conference (Pac-8). The Huskies were led by third-year head coach Don James and played their home games at Husky Stadium in Seattle. They finished the regular season at 7–4 overall, were champions of the Pac-8 at 6–1, and earned a trip to the Rose Bowl on January 2.
The Huskies were fourteen-point underdogs to #4 Michigan, but upset the Wolverines 27–20.1980 Washington Huskies football team
The 1980 Washington Huskies football team was an American football team that represented the University of Washington during the 1980 NCAA Division I-A football season. In its sixth season under head coach Don James, the team compiled a 9–2 record in the regular season and were Pacific-10 Conference champions at 6–1. They returned to the Rose Bowl, but fell to favored Michigan; for the season Washington outscored its opponents 333 to 198.
Both regular season losses were at home at Husky Stadium. The sole conference loss was to border rival Oregon, who last defeated the Huskies in 1973; it was the first loss for James against a Northwest team. In his eighteen games against the Ducks, James lost only three; the other two were in 1987 and 1988. The Huskies' winning streak over Washington State in the Apple Cup reached seven with another win in Spokane; it has not been held there since.
Senior quarterback Tom Flick was selected as the team's most valuable player; Flick, Ken Gardner, Rusty Olsen, and Randy Van Divier were the team captains.1981 Washington Huskies football team
The 1981 Washington Huskies football team was an American football team that represented the University of Washington during the 1981 NCAA Division I-A football season. In its seventh season under head coach Don James, the team compiled a 10–2 record, finished in first place in the Pacific-10 Conference, defeated Iowa in the 1981 Rose Bowl, and outscored its opponents by a combined total of 281 to 171. Mark Jerue was selected as the team's most valuable player. Jerue, James Carter, Vince Coby, and Fletcher Jenkins were the team captains.1992 Washington Huskies football team
The 1992 Washington Huskies football team was an American football team that represented the University of Washington during the 1992 NCAA Division I-A football season. In its eighteenth and final season under head coach Don James, the defending national champion Huskies won their first eight games and took the Pacific-10 Conference title for the third consecutive season.Attempting to win a third straight Rose Bowl, the Huskies lost to Michigan by seven points and finished with a 9–3 record. Washington outscored its opponents by a combined total of 337 to 186.Dave Hoffmann was selected as the team's most valuable player. Hoffmann, Mark Brunell, Lincoln Kennedy, and Shane Pahukoa were the team captains.1999 Washington Huskies football team
The 1999 Washington Huskies football team represented the University of Washington in the 1999 NCAA Division I-A football season. The Huskies were led by first year head coach Rick Neuheisel and played their home games at Husky Stadium. They played as a member of the Pac-10. They finished the season 7–5, 6-2 in Pac-10 play to finish in a tie for second place.2000 Seattle Seahawks season
The 2000 Seattle Seahawks season was the franchise's 25th season in the National Football League, The first of two seasons the Seahawks played at Husky Stadium while Qwest Field was being built and the second under head coach Mike Holmgren. The 2000 Seahawks' pass defense surrendered 7.63 yards-per-attempt (including quarterback sacks), one of the ten-worst totals in the history of the NFL. They failed to improve on their 9-7 record from 1999 and missed out on the playoffs since 1998.2000 Washington Huskies football team
The 2000 Washington Huskies football team represented the University of Washington in the 2000 NCAA Division I-A football season. The Huskies were led by second-year head coach Rick Neuheisel and played their home games on campus in Seattle at Husky Stadium. Washington lost only one game,to the Oregon Ducks, and won the Rose Bowl on New Year's Day.2001 Seattle Seahawks season
The 2001 Seattle Seahawks season was the franchise's 26th season in the National Football League, The second of two seasons the Seahawks played at Husky Stadium while Qwest Field was being built and the third under head coach Mike Holmgren. They improved on their 6-10 record from 2000 and finished the season at 9–7. The Seahawks were in the playoff hunt until the very last game of the season; Baltimore's win over Minnesota on the last Monday Night game of the year ended Seattle's post-season bid. The 2001 season was the final season for the Seahawks in the American Football Conference and the second and final season they played at Husky Stadium while Qwest Field was being built.
Before the season, the Seahawks signed free agent quarterbacks Trent Dilfer and Matt Hasselbeck. Hasselbeck eventually won the starting position over Dilfer. The Seahawks also signed future Hall of Fame defensive tackle John Randle, who spent the last 11 seasons with the Minnesota Vikings and would make the Pro Bowl in his first season with the Seahawks.
The season saw the emergence of the second year running back Shaun Alexander after Ricky Watters was injured for most of the season. Watters retired after the season ended.
It was also the final season the Seahawks wore their traditional blue and green uniforms.2005 Washington Huskies football team
The 2005 Washington Huskies football team represented the University of Washington in the 2005 NCAA Division I FBS football season. The team's coach was former Notre Dame and Stanford coach Tyrone Willingham. It played its home games at Husky Stadium in Seattle.2006 Washington Huskies football team
The 2006 Washington Huskies football team represented the University of Washington in the 2006 NCAA Division I FBS football season. The team's coach was former Notre Dame and Stanford coach Tyrone Willingham. Washington played its home games at Husky Stadium in Seattle, Washington.2019 Washington Huskies football team
The 2019 Washington Huskies football team will represent the University of Washington during the 2019 NCAA Division I FBS football season. The Huskies will be led by sixth-year head coach Chris Petersen and will play their home games at Husky Stadium in Seattle. The team will compete as a member of the North Division in the Pac-12 Conference.Husky Stadium (Houston Baptist University)
Husky Stadium is a stadium on the campus of Houston Baptist University in Houston, Texas. It is used for American football, and is the home field for the Houston Baptist Huskies football team. The stadium is located near the corner of Beechnut and Fondren. Initial capacity is 5,000 with future construction phases to increase capacity. The stadium inaugural game held on September 6, 2014 was between the Houston Baptist Huskies and the McMurry War Hawks.