Tacoma's Stadium Bowl opens on July 10, 1910.

  • By David Wilma
  • Posted 1/18/2003
  • HistoryLink.org Essay 5070

On July 10, 1910, Stadium Bowl (originally called Tacoma Stadium) opens next to Tacoma High School in Tacoma. The facility features concrete seats for 11,000 and will host high school sporting events and pageants, professional sports, and presidential visits. Twenty-five thousand people attend the opening ceremonies. Tacoma High School opened in 1906 and in 1913 its name will change to Stadium High School.

Tacoma High School was built out of an uncompleted resort hotel north of downtown Tacoma. The building stood at the head of Old Woman’s Gulch, named for the widows of working men who lived in shanties along the shore. The school board decided to build a stadium in the gulch when local businessmen agreed to lease it for 10 years. Then the board decided to build it with public funds. School board architect Frederick Heath called the facility:

"...a poem in masonry ... a great athletic field set in the midst of superb natural scenery. In the symmetry of its terraced seats, in the enthusiasm that built the structure is the grandeur of the poetic spirit" (Morgan, 96).

Sources: Murray Morgan and Rosa Morgan, South on the Sound: An Illustrated History of Tacoma and Pierce County (Woodland Hills, CA: Windsor Publications, 1983), 94-96; "211 NO. E ST., Tacoma," Pierce County Buildings Index (http://search.tacomapubliclibrary.org/buildings/bldgfulld.asp?27-13887) .
Note: This essay was corrected on March 18, 2007, and again on September 23, 2008.

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