Flood damage knocks Tacoma’s Stadium Bowl out of commission

Tacoma’s historic Stadium Bowl will be closed until February so crews can repair extensive damage caused by Saturday’s torrential rains.

Tacoma School District spokesman Dan Voelpel said Monday that water that gushed into the bowl from city streets above eroded the soil under a stairwell leading into the stadium.

It also saturated the artificial turf with water, mud and debris and carved a large trench off the northern end of the bowl and onto Schuster Parkway below.

“There are multiple storm drains up there,” Voelpel said of the streets above the stadium. “They just got overwhelmed.”

Water also flooded a field house where the football team stores equipment. Water was still standing in the building Monday.

Voelpel could not give an estimate of what repairs would cost, saying that figure was still being tallied.

The school district is working to reschedule Stadium High football and soccer games slated to be played at the bowl, he said.

Options include moving the games to Lincoln or Mount Tahoma high schools. Stadium High team practices most likely would be moved to Jason Lee Middle School or Wilson High School, Voelpel said.

Saturday’s storm dumped an inch of rain over parts of Pierce County, the National Weather Service reported.

A downpour in Tacoma during the afternoon flooded parking lots and some streets when storm drains clogged with fallen leaves couldn’t handle the water.

Video available online showed water rushing down the stadium risers and flooding the field.

The school itself suffered no damage, Voelpel said.

The flood damage came on the heels of a trio of sinkholes opening on the floor of the bowl this summer.

The bowl was temporarily closed while crews filled in the holes and assessed the underlying soils. That assessment found no potential new sinkholes, and none seemed to appear Saturday.

The bowl also was closed for weeks after it flooded and was covered in mud during a big storm in November 2014.

Adam Lynn: 253-597-8644



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