This Sporting Life

This Sporting Life

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Okay, it’s certainly no secret that Seattle has a long and somewhat, to be charitable, mixed history as a sports town. There have been long stretches of steady success for all the teams that call Seattle home, including the early 90s Washington Huskies, who shared the 1991 National Championship on NCAA football; the 90s-into-00s Mariners, who tied the 1908 Chicago Cubs for most victories in a single season in 2001; forty years on Sonics basketball, including an NBA champion ship in 1979; and, of course, the current incarnation of the Seattle Seahawks, 2013 Super Bowl champs and among the NFL elite for over a decade.


The Sonics, of course, are gone and, if you want to provoke an argument in Seattle, go into a sports bar and ask somebody to put on the Oklahoma City Thunder game. But a new arena is in the works and investors now have firm plans to once again host the NBA and also to bring back an NHL franchise for the first time since the old Seattle Metropolitans in 1924.


But the dry facts don’t tell the whole story of attending games in Seattle. History doesn’t cover the wonderful sense of community and camaraderie that exists among fans of the area’s teams. After winning the 2013 Super Bowl, the Seahawks held a parade, on one of those extremely rare Seattle days when the thermometer dips into the teens and even our omnipresent Helly Hansen Jackets don’t do much against winds that carry icicles into your clothing and run them down the spine. On that frigid day, nearly a million of us showed up to wait six hours in that cold to see our champs roll down Fourth Avenue from Seattle Center to CenturyLink Field…and not one of us would have dreamed of missing it. Reports of CenturyLink as the loudest sports stadium on earth are not exaggerated. It is so loud, when the Seahawks score a critical touchdown that the sound beats against your body in waves, like an invisible and dry but thundering surf. At moments, it can be borderline painful…all of which stands in direct contradiction to the universal image of Seattle as the country’s nexus of Laid Back and Uber-Cool. The same story is repeated in SafeCo field during a Mariners game, in Husky Stadium for a PAC12 football clash, and in CenturyLink again, when the Seattle Sounders FC takes the pitch against the rest of Major League Soccer.


And the best part of this rabid, engrossing atmosphere is that being part of it is so flippin’ easy. The arenas are all centrally located and serviced by ample major roads. 2015 ticket prices for the reigning NFL champs were actually fifteenth highest in the NFL. The Mariners are tenth in the MLB ratings. The Washington Huskies rank as the eighty-seventh highest ticket in BCS football, and the Sounders, while the most expensive premium seat in the MLS, is still among the cheapest prices in the city for a single-game ticket. Thirty bucks will get you into the Clink for a game, with a great view and the largest crowds in American soccer.


Past all the glitzy appeal of the major sports teams is an absolute avalanche of other sporting opportunities. Minor league baseball is represented by the Mariners’ AAA franchise, The Tacoma Rainiers and The MLB Developmental League’s Everett Aquasox. Professional soccer, under the aegis of the Sounders, includes Sounders FC2 and Sounders FC U-23 as minor league affiliates, and the InterUnited FC and Seattle Sporting FC of the unaffiliated National Premier Soccer league. Women’s soccer includes AC Seattle and Issaquah Soccer Club of the Women's Premier Soccer League. And basketball is still alive and kicking, with the University of Washington’s men’s and women’s PAC 12 teams, the Seattle University RedHawks, and high school programs that have turned out one of the highest totals of any city in the country for NBA players. Sports in Seattle is hugely community-centered, affordable, safe, fun, colorful, and growing in almost explosive ways as we head into the new millennium. And, maybe most importantly for newcomers, it’s one of the best cities in the country in which to show your colors and gear for your own favorite teams. People here accept and respect fans of other colleges and pro sports franchises in a way that Old School cities like Pittsburgh and Boston and New York simply do not. Bring your Yankees gear and wear it with pride…just don’t bring up the OKC Thunder.


Ky DeWald Headshot
Author:
Phone: 206-409-3570
Dated: April 7th 2016
Views: 496
About Ky: With a decade of experience, Ky’s background in mortgage, finance, project management, negotiation...

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