Editor’s Eye: a Husky Stadium homecoming

Jon Marmor, Columns MagazineI lived in several states growing up, but one thing never changed: my love of construction sites. To me, the biggest treat in the world was to ride my blue Schwinn Stingray to the chain-link fence that surrounded a hole in the ground, where my attention would be riveted by the work of the bulldozers, dump trucks and cement mixers.

Fast forward to today, and I still get a kick out of construction sites. Good thing, seeing how the U District is a gold mine: new dorms and apartment buildings are sprouting along Campus Parkway, while on Brooklyn Avenue, buildings like the stubborn Chase bank branch across the street from my office have been demolished to clear space for a Sound Transit station.

But Montlake Avenue is where the real action is: the renovation of Husky Stadium. The Huskies were fortunate to play in spectacular CenturyLink Field last year but let’s admit it, it was so strange not to be able to get into Husky Stadium. I loved stopping by in the offseason, peeking at the field, and feeling that tingling down my spine imagining the tidal wave of purple rushing out of the tunnel, reminiscing about the amazing game Jake Locker had against Cal and reading the names etched on the 1991 national championship placque. In a few short days, we get to come home to our spiffed up Husky Stadium, and boy, will that feel amazing. First, you will be blown away by the transformation of the place. But mostly because Husky football is what brings so many of us together. It’s our home, where we meet our extended family of 70,000 friends who are drawn together by the magic and promise of college sports and the feeling of being part of something larger.

Besides giving us fans better creature comforts, our new stadium will help draw the recruits we need to get us back where we belong, atop the Pac-12. And don’t forget: this project didn’t cost taxpayers a dime. It was completely paid for with private money. I will miss the dump trucks and cranes and steam shovels doing their thing inside that magical place. I will miss wondering how in the world they were able to get the stadium done so fast. But I wouldn’t miss going to Husky Stadium for the world.