Huskies heading downtown

SEATTLE — Expansion took precedence over hospitality at the University of Washington this spring.

The renovation of Husky Stadium pushed spring football practice to an adjacent field that couldn’t accommodate fans, so the open-door policy that had become a staple of the Steve Sarkisian era slammed shut.

Until today.

After holding 10 practices in near privacy on a field next to what’s left of Husky Stadium or at nearby Dempsey Indoor, the Huskies move into Memorial Stadium today for an 11 a.m. session at Seattle Center. Fans are encouraged to attend the free practice, which is likely to last about two hours.

“It’s great,” coach Sarkisian said of having a rare practice in front of the fans. “The (weather) forecast looks good. We’re hopeful that we get a good turnout. I know our kids are looking forward to it.”

This marks the third straight year the Huskies have practiced at Memorial Stadium. The team held its annual Purple and Gold scrimmage there two years ago, then held a more traditional practice at the venue last spring. Today’s session will include some scrimmage-like elements but also will have position drills and some special-teams work.

The UW players, who have been rolling out of bed and taking part in morning practices not far from campus, are scheduled to board a bus this morning and make the short trip to downtown Seattle.

“It kind of brings back the high school days of getting on the bus with the pads,” said Justin Glenn, a senior safety from Kamiak High School. “But it’s all fun.”

Glenn was among the players looking forward to today’s practice.

“It just changes up the scenery a little bit,” he said. “It’s always nice to get away and get some more fans out there. It’s a good atmosphere. It gets guys going, and let’s play some football.”

Said quarterback Keith Price: “It’s fun. We’ve been practicing here the whole spring, so it’s good to get something new.”

The Huskies first came up with the idea of practicing downtown during Sarkisian’s second spring season in 2010, and a few thousand fans showed up to watch the annual scrimmage under sunny skies. It’s since become an annual event for UW football to practice at Memorial.

“I kind of like it,” Sarkisian said this week. “It gives us a chance to embrace Seattle. You get downtown, and you get under the Space Needle and play. The environment breaks it up a little bit from spring ball. You get the stands and all that. I know our guys get excited about it, and I think the fans do.”


Linebacker Taz Stevenson (illness) did not practice Friday. … Wide receiver James Johnson practiced but couldn’t finish the session. Sarkisian said afterward that Johnson was fine. … Safety Will Shamburger delivered one of the biggest hits of camp Friday, laying out receiver Josh Perkins while breaking up a pass. A few minutes later, tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins got up slowly after a big collision with safety Nate Fellner. Seferian-Jenkins was able to finish practice without any noticeable limitations.

Talk to us

More in Sports

Seattle Seahawks running back Kenneth Walker III celebrates after scoring against the Carolina Panthers during the second half of Sunday’s game in Seattle. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson)
Grading the Seahawks in their 37-27 win over the Panthers

Seattle turns in a solid all-around performance in front of the 2013 Super Bowl winners.

Arlington’s defense stuffs Ferndale running back Talan Bungard on Friday, Sept. 22, 2023, at Arlington High School in Arlington, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Arlington steamrolls Ferndale in 3A Wesco North showdown

The Eagles light up offense in the first half, finish business to earn a 46-14 win.

Lake Stevens High School head football coach Tom Tri hoists his team’s championship trophy during a community parade and celebration Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022, in Lake Stevens, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
The Herald’s 2022-23 Man of the Year in Sports: Tom Tri

The Lake Stevens coach guided the Vikings to Snohomish County’s first large classification football state title in more than 30 years.

West Linn’s Ryan Vandenbrink (23) runs with the ball during a football game between Lake Stevens and West Linn at Lake Stevens High School in Lake Stevens, Washington on Friday, Sept. 22, 2023. West Linn won, 49-30. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Turnovers cost Lake Stevens in loss to Oregon power West Linn

The Vikings’ run of 35 straight home wins in the regular season ends in an interstate showdown of big-school state champions.

Marysville Pilchuck’s Christian Van Natta lifts the ball in the air to celebrate a turnover during the game against Marysville Getchell on Friday, Sept. 16, 2022 in Marysville, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Prep football roundup for Friday, Sept. 22

Prep football roundup for Friday, Sept. 22: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report… Continue reading

Lynnwood teammates mob senior Abbie Orr (4) after her impressive dig led to a point against Jackson during a volleyball match Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023, at Lynnwood High School in Bothell, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Lynnwood volleyball team continues rise to prominence

After ending a 20-year state drought last season, the Royals are surging again and have vaulted to No. 3 in Class 3A in the new WSVCA poll.

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith (7) scrambles up field during the second half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions, Sunday, Sept. 17, 2023, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Seahawks set to host Panthers, honor past while focused on present

Seattle will honor the 10-year anniversary of its only Super Bowl championship during Sunday’s game.

Jackson High’s Ben Lee lunges to get to the ball against Kamiak on Thursday, Sep. 22, 2022, at the Kamiak Tennis Courts in Mukilteo, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Prep boys tennis season preview: Players and teams to watch

A look at the area’s top athletes and teams on the tennis court this fall.

Fall prep sports roundup.
Prep roundup for Saturday, Sept. 23

Also, Friday’s non-football prep results.

Most Read