Evergreen to pay $100,000 to rent Cheney Stadium for commencement ceremony

Aerial shot of Cheney Stadium.
Aerial shot of Cheney Stadium. THE NEWS TRIBUNE

It’s going to cost about $100,000 for The Evergreen State College to rent Cheney Stadium in Tacoma for its graduation ceremony on Friday, according to college spokesman Zach Powers.

He said about 1,000 students are expected to participate in the ceremony, which is being moved off campus because of safety concerns.

The Olympia-based liberal arts college, which has been embroiled in racial tension, student unrest and protests in recent weeks, was closed June 1-2 because of a phoned-in threat of a mass killing, and closed again on June 5 due to a non-specific threat. It traditionally holds its commencement ceremony outdoors on the campus’ Red Square.

How is the nearly 4,000-student public college paying for the stadium rental?

“There is flexibility in the regular college budget to absorb the cost of the stadium rental,” Powers said.

Tickets are required to attend the event, and everyone will be required to pass through security, including metal detectors.

All bags and backpacks are subject to search as well, according to the college’s website.

Lisa Pemberton: 360-754-5433, @Lisa_Pemberton