Sports with Art Thiel
9:00 pm
Thu November 3, 2011

UW hosts Oregon, bids farewell to old Husky Stadium Saturday

It's perhaps the most fitting way to end an era at Husky Stadium. The University of Washington hosts No. 6 Oregon on Saturday night in a Pac-12 showdown that will be the final game in the 90-year old waterfront stadium.

We'd love to hear your favorite memories of the old Husky Stadium.

Big game, fond farewell

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says it's a very important game for the Huskies. And for Husky fans – who will bid farewell to Husky Stadium, as the university prepares to embark on a $250 million renovation.

"This is kind of a fitting game with Oregon here. Because it's been Oregon that has set the new standard for athletic opulence and facilities. Because their $90 million renovation of Autzen Stadium in Eugene has been the talk of the Pac-12. It is really a state-of-the-art building. That's what Washington has to get up to."

Art says the Husky Stadium remodel is way overdue.

"Husky Stadium as we know it now is a 90-year-old relic that is outdated in so many ways. Dangerous. Not up to code. It is a big part of why Oregon has had such a football advantage over Washington over the last half dozen years."

Oregon better but UW has emotion

Washington has lost seven games in a row to Oregon by an average of 26 points. The Ducks are 14-point favorites in this weekend's game.

But, Art says, UW has the emotional advantage. There are a lot of sentimental events planned for Saturday night, including a 20-year anniversary celebration of UW's 1991 National Championship.

But emotion can only take the Huskies so far. Art says UW has a good team this year at 6-2 but Oregon is better at 7-1.

"It would be bordering on a miracle for Washington to win but at least it's not beyond the realm of possibility now because they've got an offense that I think can keep up with the point production of the Ducks. It's the Husky defense that's in trouble because there is no offense that's faster, more deceptive or more clever than the University of Oregon's offense and that's why they're ranked 6th in the country."

New beginnings

Soon after Saturday's game, much of the old Husky Stadium will be demolished. The Huskies will play this year's Apple Cup and all next season at CenturyLink Field, home of the Seahawks and Sounders. The new Husky Stadium is expected to be completed by the 2013 season.

Do you have any Husky Stadium memories? Share them below.