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Memorial_Stadium_(Seattle) Latitude and Longitude:

47°37′23″N 122°21′00″W / 47.623°N 122.350°W / 47.623; -122.350
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Memorial Stadium
View from northwest in 2008
Seattle is located in the United States
Seattle
Seattle
Location in the United States
Seattle is located in Washington (state)
Seattle
Seattle
Location in Washington
Full nameSeattle High School Memorial Stadium
Address401 5th Ave N.
Location Seattle, Washington
Coordinates 47°37′23″N 122°21′00″W / 47.623°N 122.350°W / 47.623; -122.350
Elevation100 ft (30 m)
Public transit Monorail Seattle Center
Owner Seattle School District
Capacity12,000
Surface AstroTurf
Construction
Broke ground1946
OpenedSeptember 26, 1947;
76 years ago
 (1947-09-26)
ArchitectGeorge Stoddard
Tenants
Seattle School District football (1947–present)
Seattle Sounders ( NASL) (1974–1975)
Seattle Sounders ( APSL/ A-League) (1994–1997, 2001–2002)
Seattle Majestics ( IWFL) (2007–2009)
Seattle Reign FC ( NWSL) (2014–2018)
Seattle Cascades ( AUDL) (2015–present)
Ballard FC ( USL2) (2024–future)

Seattle High School Memorial Stadium, commonly known simply as Memorial Stadium, is an outdoor athletic stadium in Seattle, Washington, located in the northeast corner of the Seattle Center grounds.

The stadium opened in 1947 on the site of Seattle's former Civic Field, built as a memorial to the Seattle Public Schools pupils killed in the Second World War. A memorial wall listing the names of 762 students was dedicated in 1951. The stadium was built for high school sports, including the annual Metro League football championship, and continues to be used for Seattle school district competitions.

The stadium is used mostly for American football, ultimate and soccer and has a seating capacity of 12,000; this was temporarily expanded to 17,000 during 1974–75, while the Seattle Sounders, of the North American Soccer League, played at Memorial Stadium before moving to the newly constructed Kingdome. Similarly, an A-League reincarnation of the Sounders franchise played at Memorial Stadium, before moving to Seahawks Stadium. It currently hosts Seattle School District high school football games and adult recreational leagues, and is the home field for the Seattle Cascades of the American Ultimate Disc League.

History

The stadium was designed by Seattle architect George W. Stoddard, also known for his work on the Green Lake Aqua Theater and the south stands of Husky Stadium. [1] The stadium opened on September 26, 1947, during a "jamboree" featuring eight of the city's high school football teams. [2] Seattle High School Memorial Stadium was dedicated later that year in memory of the Seattle youth who gave their lives in World War II. [3] [4] A memorial wall at the east end is inscribed with the names of over 700 fallen individuals. [5] The following year, the stadium hosted the first widespread local television broadcast in the Puget Sound region: the Turkey Day high school football game between West Seattle and Wenatchee, televised on November 25 by KRSC-TV (later KING-TV). [6]

The stadium was the venue for much of the opening ceremonies for the Century 21 Exposition, a World's Fair held in Seattle in 1962. In 1967, it became the first high school stadium in the country to install artificial turf. [7] [8] After several sellouts for the Seattle Sounders in their inaugural North American Soccer League season, a set of temporary bleachers were installed in the stadium to increase capacity to 17,925 in 1975. [9] For soccer matches, the pitch at Memorial Stadium was 110 yards (100 m) long and 60 yards (55 m) wide. [10] The Sounders moved to the Kingdome at the end of the 1975 season after attempts to negotiate for a long-term lease and management of the stadium with the Seattle School District were unsuccessful. [11]

In 1992, the scoreboard was replaced and the field was rededicated as "Leon H. Brigham Field", in tribute to the long-time high school football coach who pushed to build Memorial Stadium while serving as the Seattle School District's first director of athletics. The scoreboard was again replaced in 2018. [12] [13] Plans to replace the turf surface and widen the field area were also announced prior to a visit by Major League Soccer officials in 1994 to determine its suitability to host a Seattle team. [14]

Planned replacement

In 2017, the Seattle School District and the city of Seattle announced plans to build a new high school and stadium at Seattle Center in response to major population growth in downtown Seattle. While no timetable has been set for construction, and no site has yet been chosen, the current Memorial Stadium site was seen as a likely location for the new project because the city and school district had agreed in 2009 that the current stadium should be torn down. [15] In October 2018, a design studio leaked renderings of a soccer-specific stadium on the site of Memorial Stadium that was commissioned for a feasibility study. [16]

In March 2023, Seattle Public Schools and the City of Seattle issued a request for proposals to renovate or replace the stadium. It proposes a design with at least 8,000 seats that removes view-obstructing walls and connects with the International Fountain to the direct west. The project would include $87.5 million in public funding from the city government and school district, the latter of which was approved through a 2022 property tax levy, along with other contributions from the state government. [17] The private bidder would pay for the remaining construction costs and operate the venue, which would be used for school sports as well as concerts and cultural events beginning in 2027. Several professional teams, including OL Reign (successor to the Seattle Reign) and the Seattle Seawolves of Major League Rugby, have been mentioned as potential tenants. An earlier completion in 2026 is also proposed so that the stadium would be used as a training facility during the 2026 FIFA World Cup. [18]

Two proposals were presented in May 2023 to the city and school district, who planned to evaluate the proposals by the end of the month. The One Roof Partnership, a partnership between the Seattle Kraken and Oak View Group (the operator of the redeveloped Climate Pledge Arena), proposed a stadium with four stands and seats for 10,000 spectators; its design was inspired by a stadium in Kansas City, Missouri, that was being constructed for the Kansas City Current of the National Women's Soccer League. [19] [20] A separate bid from JLL, Poag Development Group, and the Anschutz Entertainment Group included a semi-covered grandstand and a wrapped facade. [21] The city and school district announced their selection of One Roof Partnership as their preferred bidder on June 15. [22]

Tenants

The facility is not operated by the Seattle Center itself, but is owned by the Seattle School District and still serves as the "home field" for some high school football games played within the district. Memorial Stadium also hosted the first AAA (now 4A) state championship game for high school football in 1973, the first year of the state playoff system. [23] The top-ranked Wenatchee Panthers were upset by the Kentridge Chargers, 26–24. Entering the title game, Wenatchee had given up just seven points all season and had been the top team in the state polls for four years. [24] The stadium also hosts the annual football championships for the Metro League, which are traditionally played on Thanksgiving Day. [25] [26]

As well as hosting two iterations of the Sounders franchise, Memorial Stadium has served as home to several other pro and semi-pro sports teams. From 1967 to 1969 it was the home of the Seattle Rangers of the Continental Football League, a professional minor league. The Seattle Majestics, a women's American football team, played home games at Memorial Stadium from 2007 to 2009 before moving to French Field in nearby Kent. [27] Seattle Reign FC of the National Women's Soccer League moved to the stadium in 2014 and played with a capacity limited to 6,000 for several seasons. They announced their move to Tacoma in January 2019 and were renamed later to OL Reign. [28] [29] As of 2015, the American Ultimate Disc League's Seattle Cascades use the stadium for the majority of their home games. In addition, the stadium hosts adult recreational league soccer and flag football.

Memorial Stadium serves as the finish for the Seattle Marathon. [30]

The stadium is also used periodically for concerts, particularly in connection with festivals held at the Seattle Center, like Bumbershoot. [7] [31] In late May 1995, The Grateful Dead performed their final three Seattle shows as the most significant events to ever take place at this stadium. This was the last visit to this location for the band as Jerry Garcia died later that summer.

References

  1. ^ "George W. Stoddard". Washington State Department of Archaeology & Historic Preservation. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. Retrieved June 13, 2014.
  2. ^ Duff, Jim (September 25, 1947). "High School Jamboree Set For Tomorrow Night; Eight High Schools To See Action In Memorial Stadium". The Seattle Times. p. 21.
  3. ^ Seattle High School Memorial Stadium (Memorial wall). Seattle High School Memorial Stadium: Seattle School Board. May 29, 1951. Archived from the original on June 29, 2023. Retrieved June 29, 2023. Youth hold high your torch of truth justice and tolerance lest their sacrifice be forgotten.
  4. ^ "New Stadium To Be Memorial". The Seattle Daily Times. February 2, 1946. Archived from the original on June 29, 2023. Retrieved June 29, 2023. Members of the Seattle School Board yesterday agreed to name the new high school stadium at Civic Field the "Seattle High School Memorial Stadium," in honor of former pupils who were killed in the Second World War.
  5. ^ "Live At Seattle Center". Seattlecenter.com. Archived from the original on March 19, 2014. Retrieved April 30, 2014.
  6. ^ McNerthney, Casey. "P-I archive: Seattle's biggest Thanksgiving football games". Seattle P-I. Archived from the original on October 29, 2011. Retrieved June 13, 2014.
  7. ^ a b Guzman, Monica. "Memorable moments from Memorial Stadium". Seattle P-I. Archived from the original on May 2, 2014. Retrieved June 13, 2014.
  8. ^ "Husky coach puts team on "carpet"". Spokane Daily Chronicle. Washington. October 19, 1967. p. 25. Archived from the original on December 22, 2015. Retrieved December 19, 2015.
  9. ^ Meyers, Georg N. (October 21, 1975). "Lovely 'question mark' for Sounders". The Seattle Times. p. B1.
  10. ^ Best, John (April 7, 1974). "Sounder Soccer". The Seattle Times. p. H4.
  11. ^ Holt, Gordy (December 19, 1975). "Schools Rejected Offer by Sounders". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. p. D1.
  12. ^ Watson, Emmett (November 26, 1992). "Dynamic Coach Leon Brigham Was Years Ahead Of His Time". Seattle Times. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. Retrieved June 13, 2014.
  13. ^ "Leon Brigham". Gnfafootball.org. Archived from the original on February 12, 2015. Retrieved April 30, 2014.
  14. ^ Farrey, Tom (May 10, 1994). "MLS encouraged by Memorial improvements". The Seattle Times. p. C6.
  15. ^ Greenstone, Scott (August 4, 2017). "Seattle and school district will partner to build high school, stadium at Seattle Center". The Seattle Times. Archived from the original on December 1, 2017. Retrieved November 27, 2017.
  16. ^ Oshan, Jeremiah (October 9, 2018). "Renderings of Sounders-specific stadium surfaces". Sounder At Heart. SB Nation. Archived from the original on March 11, 2020. Retrieved November 24, 2019.
  17. ^ Girgis, Lauren (March 20, 2023). "Seattle seeks private group to rebuild Memorial Stadium". The Seattle Times. Archived from the original on March 21, 2023. Retrieved March 21, 2023.
  18. ^ Beekman, Daniel; Velez, Monica; Baker, Geoff (March 22, 2023). "Memorial Stadium's potential transformation is 'decades in the making'". The Seattle Times. Archived from the original on March 22, 2023. Retrieved March 23, 2023.
  19. ^ Beekman, Daniel (May 12, 2023). "Seattle reveals details about two bids to build a new Memorial Stadium". The Seattle Times. Archived from the original on May 16, 2023. Retrieved May 15, 2023.
  20. ^ Beekman, Daniel (June 16, 2023). "Inside the winning and losing bids to rebuild Seattle's Memorial Stadium". The Seattle Times. Archived from the original on June 17, 2023. Retrieved June 16, 2023.
  21. ^ Hinchliffe, Emma (May 12, 2023). "Two groups in the running to replace Memorial Stadium". Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce. Archived from the original on May 16, 2023. Retrieved May 15, 2023.
  22. ^ Beekman, Daniel (June 15, 2023). "Team behind Climate Pledge Arena picked to build $150M new Seattle Memorial Stadium". The Seattle Times. Archived from the original on June 17, 2023. Retrieved June 16, 2023.
  23. ^ "State poises for opening of playoffs". Spokane Daily Chronicle. November 9, 1973. p. 15. Archived from the original on June 4, 2023. Retrieved September 21, 2016 – via Google News Archive.
  24. ^ "Kentridge stops Panthers' reign". Spokane Daily Chronicle. November 24, 1973. p. 9. Archived from the original on January 9, 2023. Retrieved September 21, 2016 – via Google News Archive.
  25. ^ Kossen, Bill (November 21, 2012). "50 years of tasty Turkey Day Game memories and my love of prep football". The Seattle Times. Archived from the original on August 8, 2023. Retrieved August 7, 2023.
  26. ^ Smith, Craig (November 26, 2002). "'Turkey Day' game once the main event". The Seattle Times. Archived from the original on August 8, 2023. Retrieved August 7, 2023.
  27. ^ Hunter, Steve (March 31, 2009). "Seattle Majestics: Real women, playing real football". Federal Way Mirror. Archived from the original on February 1, 2014. Retrieved January 21, 2014.
  28. ^ Mayers, Joshua (February 6, 2014). "Reign FC confirms its new home will be Seattle Memorial Stadium". The Seattle Times. Sounders FC Blog. Archived from the original on March 7, 2014. Retrieved April 24, 2014.
  29. ^ Baker, Geoff (January 30, 2019). "Reign FC announces immediate move to Tacoma, dropping Seattle from name". The Seattle Times. Archived from the original on August 9, 2019. Retrieved January 30, 2019.
  30. ^ Whiting, Jim (November 28, 2005). "2005 Seattle Marathon: Steidl in seventh heaven". The Seattle Times. Archived from the original on January 2, 2023. Retrieved January 1, 2023.
  31. ^ Shaw, Linda; Heffter, Emily (November 25, 2009). "Seattle Center, schools reach pact to tear down Memorial Stadium". The Seattle Times. Archived from the original on May 2, 2014. Retrieved January 1, 2023.

External links