Husky Stadium is an outdoor football stadium on the campus of the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington, United States. It has been the home of the Washington Huskies of the Pacific-12 Conference since 1920, hosting its football games. The university holds its annual commencement at the stadium in June. It is located at the southeastern corner of campus, between Montlake Boulevard N.E. and Union Bay, just north of the Montlake Cut.
The stadium recently completed a $280 million renovation begun in 2011. Its U-shaped design was specifically oriented (18.167° south of due east) to minimize glare from the early afternoon sun in the athletes' eyes. The open end overlooks scenic Lake Washington and the Cascade Mountains, including Mount Rainier. Prior to the 2011-13 renovation, its total capacity of 72,500 made it the largest stadium in the Pacific Northwest and the 23rd largest in college football.
College football is American football played by teams of student athletes fielded by American universities, colleges, and military academies, or Canadian football played by teams of student athletes fielded by Canadian universities. It was through college football play that American football rules first gained popularity in the United States.
Sports are an important part of the culture of the United States. Three of the nation's five most popular team sports were developed in North America: American football, basketball and ice hockey, whereas soccer and baseball were developed in England. The four Major leagues in the United States are the National Basketball Association (NBA), National Football League (NFL), Major League Baseball (MLB), the National Hockey League (NHL); all enjoy massive media exposure and are considered the preeminent competitions in their respective sports in the world. Three of those leagues have teams that represent Canadian cities, and all four are among the most lucrative sports leagues in the world. The top professional soccer league in the United States, Major League Soccer, has not yet reached the popularity levels of the top four sports leagues, although average attendance has been increasing and in fact has matched or surpassed those of the NBA and the NHL.
Professional teams in all major sports operate as franchises within a league. All major sports leagues use the same type of schedule with a playoff tournament after the regular season ends. In addition to the major league-level organizations, several sports also have professional minor leagues, active in smaller cities across the country.
American football (known as football in the United States and gridiron in some other countries) is a sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular field 120 yards long by 53.33 yards wide with goalposts at each end. The offense attempts to advance an oval ball (the football) down the field by running with or passing it. They must advance it at least ten yards in four downs to receive a new set of four downs and continue the drive; if not, they turn over the football to the opposing team. Points are scored by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone for a touchdown, kicking the ball through the opponent's goalposts for a field goal or by the defense tackling the ball carrier in the offense's end zone for a safety. The team with the most points at the end of a game wins.
American football evolved in the United States, originating from the sport of rugby football. The first game of American football was played on November 6, 1869 between two college teams, Rutgers and Princeton, under rules resembling rugby and soccer. A set of rule changes drawn up from 1880 onward by Walter Camp, the "Father of American Football", established the snap, eleven-player teams and the concept of downs, and later rule changes legalized the forward pass, created the neutral zone and specified the size and shape of the football.
Washington Huskies is the nickname of the University of Washington's athletic teams. The school is a member of the Pacific-12 Conference. The athletic program is made up of 9 men's sports (baseball, basketball, crew, cross country, football, golf, soccer, tennis, track and field) and 10 women's sports (basketball, crew, cross country, golf, gymnastics, soccer, softball, tennis, track and field, volleyball).
The Apple Cup is an American college football rivalry between the University of Washington Huskies and Washington State University Cougars. First played in 1900, it is traditionally the final game of the regular season and formerly took place on the Saturday preceding Thanksgiving. Since 1946, it has been held in odd years at Husky Stadium in Seattle (except 2011 at CenturyLink Field), and WSU has been the home team during even years, with games played in Pullman at Rogers Field (1946, 1948, 1954) and Martin Stadium (since 1982), with the other fifteen contests in Spokane at Joe Albi Stadium. With the extension of the college football regular season to 12 games in 2006, the game is often played at a later date. Since 2011, it has been held on the Friday after Thanksgiving. The Apple Cup trophy is awarded to the winner of the game.