Fish Bowl 2024… at Mount Tahoma High School in Tacoma?

Let’s break it down.
Photo from Fish Bowl 2023.
Photo from Fish Bowl 2023.

During an intense game last year, the Gig Harbor Tides made a comeback against the Peninsula Seahawks and ultimately concluded the game with the Tides on top by a single point. The 2023 game was the first Fish Bowl win for Gig Harbor since September 15, 2015, in which the Tides won 40-14. That’s an eight year losing streak, but despite that fact, the Tides managed to end the drought, and go home with the win exactly eight years later, on September 15, 2023.

So why is it being held at Mount Tahoma this upcoming year? The decision to relocate the game to Mount Tahoma Stadium was supported by a recent investigation by the district into the suitability of Roy Anderson Field. Documents from the investigation revealed that coaches and other officials from both schools believed the venue was inadequate to handle the large turnout that the Fish Bowl typically attracts.

Unlike our home field Roy Anderson, which only has a capacity of 2,000, the Mount Tahoma High School stadium boasts a capacity of 5,000 which is two and a half times the capacity of Roy Anderson. With an estimated attendance of more than 3,000 people last year, the new venue at Mount Tahoma will be a big game changer for fans.

Whether you root for Peninsula or Gig Harbor, the covered stands on both sides of the field at Mt. Tahoma will lend to a more comfortable experience for all guests. As opposed to last year when Gig Harbor students had portable bleachers on their side of the field taken away after safety issues arose, leaving fans standing on the sidelines.

In terms of cost, preliminary estimates for renting Mount Tahoma Stadium range between $1,500 and $2,000, with these expenses expected to be covered by the athletic budgets of both schools. Despite the financial implications, the benefits of hosting the Fish Bowl in a facility with covered seating, adequate parking, and locker rooms for both teams were deemed worthwhile by the district, as well as the schools athletic departments.

Along with the announcement of the Fish Bowl being played at Mount Tahoma High School in Tacoma, we were informed that Gig Harbor High School and Peninsula High School will be competing in two separate divisions of the newly formed Puget Sound League starting in the 2024 season. This new league merges the South Sound Conference with some of the Pierce County League, and reflects the ongoing efforts to optimize competition and foster growth within our athletes and communities.

Overall, the relocation of the Fish Bowl may be a significant and unwelcome change to some. Meanwhile, others may see it as good, and that’s for you to decide. In the end it represents a proactive step that our district is taking to keep students, families, and athletes safe, all while keeping alive the tradition of Fish Bowl.