As you walk through the new Martin Stadium, there is no denying it is something very special. Seemingly in the middle of nowhere, as you come over the hills, almost out of the blue comes one of the (now) prettiest venues in the Pac-12!
Now a lot of people reading this who have been to Martin Stadium before are probably laughing and saying “no way is little Martin Stadium ever gonna be anything special.” Well folks that’s what I thought too at one point, which is why when I was touring the facilities I had to ask… Who the heck looked at Martin Stadium and envisioned this?
Enter, Bill Moos. The man looked at a lump of coal, saw into the future, and turned it into a diamond. Ladies and gents, it is incredible what stands in the center of Wazzu’s campus right now. I walked the new field turf with crimson end zones with my dad who also played on that same field back in the day, and we were blown away at what this place has become.
Mr. Moos is a visionary, and I’m sure he has been called crazy a few times along the way… probably both at Oregon AND here at WSU. Moos initiated more than $160 million in facility improvements while at Oregon. Included in that was the $90 million Autzen Stadium renovation in 2002, which added 12,000 new seats, 32 new suites, a new Club at Autzen and a new press box to the stadium and that was without a tv contract folks (Yes, Phil Knight was there but even he had to be convinced). That’s a lot of envisioning and a big imagination.
Bill Moos took this university further then I could have ever imagined. He continues to make a splash with his hiring of coaches. Although I realize he is not the only one who made this possible, it took a crazy vision to set this all in motion. What is interesting to me is the way he emulated what he did at Oregon.
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I remember Oregon kind of struggling with an identity for awhile but once Moos got there, he made the “O” cool. It was everywhere you turned, on everything people wore in Eugene and it quickly became one of the most recognizable logos in the nation. When I was walking around campus and more specifically, Martin Stadium, I noticed the exact same thing happening with the WSU logo. Personally I think it is the best logo because it incorporates so many things. It is slowly becoming more and more recognizable because it’s everywhere.
In a couple years Bill Moos has done some incredible things with Washington State University. It’s his drive and his “Nothing is too big for WSU” attitude that has brought this University so far.
Still don’t believe me about Martin Stadium? I dare you to go to a game this year and not be shocked that you are sitting in the same place that was called a bad high school stadium by many Pac-12 rivals just a few years ago.
It’s going to be a very tough place to play from now on due to location, weather and the overall dynamic of a small town turning into a huge football setting. It starts this year people, get ready for something special. Something so special, Bill Moos saw it in his head before any of us…