After the whistle: Memories of Husky Stadium

Since it opened in 1920, Husky Stadium has endeared itself to generations of Husky fans. But the venerable stadium is in need of updating, so after the Nov. 5 game against Oregon, it will close for a year while it undergoes a much-needed makeover. The Huskies will play the 2011 Apple Cup and their 2012 home schedule at CenturyLink Stadium in downtown Seattle before returning in 2013.

The privately funded $250 million renovation will transform the beloved stadium into a state-of-the-art facility providing Husky fans a safe, comfortable, exhilarating fan experience. The project will include a rebuilt lower bowl and south stands, upgraded concourses, and an adjoining football operations building. New suites, loge boxes and club seating will provide fans with premium seating options.

The field itself will be lowered four feet, and the surrounding track will be removed. These changes will improve sightlines and bring fans even closer to the action.

The Husky faithful have great memories of what’s happened in the bowl on the shores of Lake Washington: the breathtaking runs of Hugh McElhenny, the ferocious tackling of Steve Emtman, the championship teams, the deafening roar of the purple-clad crowd.

Former Husky running back Greg Lewis, ’93, knows what Husky Stadium means to the team.

“Husky Stadium was always loud and rocking on game days,” Lewis says. “We knew the other team was intimidated by our fans and nervous about how loud the place would get.”

How loud? Well, during a 1992 home game against Nebraska, ESPN measured the noise level at 130 decibels—the loudest ever recorded at a college stadium.

On Halloween 1981, Husky Stadium was the birthplace of The Wave. Started by then-UW cheerleader Robb Weller, ’81, and then-Husky Band Director Bill Bissell, the wave debuted during a raucous 42-31 victory over Stanford led by a young John Elway.