Memorial Stadium (Seattle)

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Memorial Stadium
Leon H. Brigham Field (2891579174).jpg
viewed from the northwest in 2008
Full name Seattle High School
Memorial Stadium
Location 401 5th Ave N.
Seattle, Washington
Coordinates 47°37′23″N 122°21′00″W / 47.623°N 122.350°W / 47.623; -122.350Coordinates: 47°37′23″N 122°21′00″W / 47.623°N 122.350°W / 47.623; -122.350
Owner Seattle School District
Capacity 12,000
Surface FieldTurf
Construction
Broke ground 1946
Opened 1947 - November
Architect George Stoddard
Tenants
Seattle School District
Seattle Sounders (NASL) (1974–75)
Seattle Sounders (A-League/USL-1) (1997–2002)
Seattle Majestics (IWFL) (2007–09)
Seattle Reign (NWSL) (2014–)

Memorial Stadium is an outdoor athletic stadium in Seattle, Washington, located in the northeast corner of the Seattle Center grounds. It 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 Qwest/CenturyLink Field. It currently hosts Seattle School District high school football games and adult recreational leagues, and is the home field for Seattle Reign FC of the National Women's Soccer League.[1]

History[edit]

Leon H. Brigham Field on Memorial Stadium scoreboard

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.[2] Dedicated 67 years ago in late 1947, Memorial Stadium was built in memory of the Seattle youth who gave their lives in World War II. A memorial wall at the east end is inscribed with the names of over 700 fallen individuals.[3] The following year, the stadium hosted first widespread local television broadcast in the Puget Sound region, the Turkey Day high school football game between West Seattle and Wenatchee.[4]

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.[5]

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.[6][7]

Tenants[edit]

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.[8] 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.[9]

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. The Seattle Majestics, a women's American football team, played home games at Memorial Stadium from 2007 to 2009 before moving to Kent.[10][11] Beginning with the 2014 season, Memorial Stadium became the home to Seattle's NWSL soccer team, Seattle Reign FC. The stadium's capacity is limited to 6,000 for Reign matches.[1] In addition, Memorial Stadium is used for adult recreational league soccer and flag football.

The stadium is also used periodically for concerts, particularly in connection with festivals held at the Center, like Bumbershoot.[5][12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Mayers, Joshua (February 6, 2014). "Reign FC confirms its new home will be Seattle Memorial Stadium". Sounders FC Blog. The Seattle Times. Retrieved April 24, 2014. 
  2. ^ "George W. Stoddard". Washington State Department of Archaeology & Historic Preservation. Retrieved 13 June 2014. 
  3. ^ "Live At Seattle Center". Seattlecenter.com. Retrieved April 30, 2014. 
  4. ^ McNerthney, Casey. "P-I archive: Seattle’s biggest Thanksgiving football games". Seattle P-I. Retrieved 13 June 2014. 
  5. ^ a b Guzman, Monica. "Memorable moments from Memorial Stadium". Seattle P-I. Retrieved 13 June 2014. 
  6. ^ Watson, Emmett (26 November 1992). "Dynamic Coach Leon Brigham Was Years Ahead Of His Time". Seattle Times. Retrieved 13 June 2014. 
  7. ^ "Leon Brigham". Gnfafootball.org. Retrieved April 30, 2014. 
  8. ^ Spokane Daily Chronicle - State poises for opening of playoffs - November 9, 1973 - p.15
  9. ^ Spokane Daily Chronicle - Kentridge stops Panthers' reign - November 24, 1973 - p.9
  10. ^ Hunter, Steve (March 31, 2009). "Seattle Majestics: Real women, playing real football". Federal Way Mirror. Retrieved January 21, 2014. 
  11. ^ "French Field (Kent, Washington)". https://en.wikipedia.org/. Retrieved 2014-10-26. 
  12. ^ Seattle Times - Seattle Center, schools reach pact to tear down Memorial Stadium - November 25, 2009

External links[edit]