Seattle University Venue Spotlight
BY MIKE GASTINEAU - USA GAMES CORRESPONDENT
The 2018 USA Special Olympics Games athletes who compete in events at Seattle University (SU) will benefit from the use of state-of-the-art facilities in a location just above downtown in Capitol Hill that connects them directly to the city of Seattle.
SU will play host to soccer and basketball. The soccer competition will take place at the award-winning Championship Field. The field was named the college soccer “Field of the Year” in 2014 by the Sports Turf Manager’s Association and is nominated for the same award in 2017.
“It’s my favorite place on campus,” said Rebekah Ray, Seattle U’s Assistant Athletic Director for Facilities and Event Management. “Our grounds crew does a fantastic job caring for it and it is our coaches’ pride and joy. It’s definitely a gem and we love it.”
“You can’t be any more in the city than we are,” adds Seattle University External Events Coordinator Chris Lindsey. “At Championship Field you see the Seattle skyline in the background and it really reinforces that we are in the center of the city. I think that’s what makes it so appealing.”
In addition to being the home of Seattle University soccer, Championship Field has also played host to several national teams that have visited Seattle. In 2017 both the US Women’s National Team and the Mexican National Team trained there as did teams in Seattle for the 2016 Copa Americana tournament.
Part of the soccer competition will also be held at SU Park which is home to Seattle U’s softball team as well as numerous rec league and intramural sports. The school’s Connolly Complex (renovated in 2016 and home to SU’s men’s and women’s basketball teams) is one of four sites in Seattle being used for the basketball competition.
“Having a portion of the USA Games on campus is an honor,” said Lindsey. “We always make sure we’re reaching out into the community and inviting folks to campus, helping those less fortunate, and being a good neighbor. We’re a small university but we have a big impact in the city and this is the perfect chance for us to show that.”
Ray points out that the Redhawks men’s and women’s soccer coaches (Pete Fewing and Julie Woodward) are both ambassadors for the USA Games and hosting competition will be an extension of the Seattle U mission.
“Our soccer programs do a lot of volunteering with Special Olympics. On top of all the other community service projects our student-athletes do it’s really special to have such a strong role in the USA Games and have the opportunity to be involved in such a cool experience for the city.”