SEATTLE — The Washington high school football scene will have a new place to compete for state championships in December.
The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) came to an agreement on a one-year deal with the University of Washington to use Husky Stadium as the venue to host the Gridiron Classic for the upcoming fall season, it was announced Tuesday morning.
After nearly three decades at the Tacoma Dome, the Gridiron Classic had been spread across three locations since 2018 (Mount Tahoma Stadium, Sparks Stadium, Harry E. Lang Stadium). Lake Stevens won its 4A state title at Mount Tahoma High School in 2022.
The single-season trial run will have all six title games run from Dec. 1-2, with three games per day. The 1B, 1A and 3A classifications will play Friday, with the 2B, 2A and 4A games set for Saturday. Game times will be 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.
“We are thankful to the University of Washington Athletics leadership team for their continued support and allowing students to make lifelong memories at a world-class facility,” WIAA Executive Director Mick Hoffman said in a statement. “We are hopeful that this format will provide a positive experience for the schools involved and will be embraced by the Washington football community.”
The format, along with the venue approval at Husky Stadium comes on a trial basis.
“It’s a leap of faith that it will work out for the University of Washington and for us,” Hoffman told ScorebookLive.
The deal for the 2023 season comes on the heels of the upcoming 2024-28 state classification cycle, with plans to rebid for a long-term home for the annual event.