New Tunnel Retains Tradition, Creating a "Special" Game-Day Entry Point
For all that is new amid the $280 million renovation of Husky Stadium, it’s what was retained for immediately prior to kickoffs that may mean the most to current and former UW players.
The tunnel leading from the Huskies’ locker room onto the field, a sacred part of Washington’s football tradition and one of the most emotional parts of Husky Stadium for players, has been extended, widened and modernized into the best game-day entry point the program has ever had.
The Ryan Family Tunnel retains the traditional posters from each bowl game the Huskies have played in their history. Those have moved from the old locker room in the basement of Alaska Airlines Arena down the tunnel more toward the new team locker room behind the west end zone of the new stadium. The new extension from the tunnel’s midway point to the lowered field is painted purple and gold. The same sign that is in the new, main team meeting room is on the wall the players will face on the turn to the field coming out of their new locker room: “THE DAWG IS LOYAL TO THE PACK. THE PACK IS LOYAL TO THE DAWG. YOU WILL NEVER RUN ALONE”
The last thing the players will see – and reach up to tap – on their way onto the new field is a purple-and-white sign with EXPECT TO WIN in block letters above the entry way.
The outside facing of the new tunnel in the northwest corner of the stadium is painted purple with BOW DOWN painted in gold. The new Husky football shield logo coach Steve Sarkisian is introducing this season is painted to the right of the tunnel exit.
And in a major change from the old stadium, only the Huskies will use the tunnel. The visiting team will now access the field from a separate walkway on the opposite, southeast corner of the stadium from the new visiting locker room there. The old visiting locker room was at the top of the tunnel, in the arena's visiting basketball locker room.
“There have been so many great memories in that tunnel, and now we have the chance to make our own history,” Sarkisian says. “For our fans to know that that’s our tunnel, and only ours, that is pretty special.”
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