The state championships for high school football in Washington are gearing up for an exciting shift! The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) has struck a deal to make Husky Stadium at the University of Washington the new playground for the 2023 season’s grand finale.
Get ready for a thrilling two-day event packed with action. On December 1st and 2nd, the state’s biggest college campus will host six championship games, split equally between Friday and Saturday. The high school football stage doesn’t get bigger or brighter than this!
The high school football championships took a detour after the 2018 season. They left their original home, the Tacoma Dome, and found new grounds at Sparks Stadium in Puyallup, Mount Tahoma Stadium in Tacoma, and Harry E. Lang Stadium in Lakewood. The reason for this shift was primarily due to increased expenses and compromised visibility at the Tacoma Dome, following a new seating layout.
The recent move to the Husky Stadium was possible due to the unyielding efforts of the University of Washington’s (UW) team. WIAA Executive Director Mick Hoffman extended special appreciation to UW Athletic Director Jen Cohen and Assistant Athletic Director Dan Erickson for their pivotal role in this successful transition.
“The kids … get to play on a Pac-12 field in a phenomenal facility, which is cool,” Hoffman said. “The fan is going to have to navigate getting there at certain times of the day. Will it impact attendance? I don’t know.”
Between 1977 and 1994, the high-profile “Kingbowl” was the highlight of downtown Seattle, hosted at the iconic Kingdome. In 1995, it migrated to the Tacoma Dome and received a fresh moniker, becoming the “Gridiron Classic.”
However, mounting expenses and a dip in spectator turnout led to the end of its stint at the Tacoma Dome after the 2018 season. The WIAA made the decision to breathe new life into the football championships, moving the epic games to Sparks Stadium, Mount Tahoma Stadium, and Harry E. Lang Stadium, all nestled in Pierce County.