The Emerald City may be still young as a pro-sports city, but Seattle sports teams have plenty to offer pro-sports lovers!
Only 45 years ago the Sonics joined the NBA and made the city a major-league town. The Seahawks and Mariners are even younger. Even so, the fans do not lack in passion! CenturyLink Field (Qwest) is known as the loudest stadium in the NFL. The Storm has the best home-court advantage in the WNBA. The newest of the Seattle teams, Sounders FC, has turned the city into a soccer-crazed town with every game a sell-out.
If you are a sports fan, you'll want to get tickets to at least one Seattle sports event when you are visiting.
Ichiro at Bat
The Mariners, a baseball institution in Seattle since 1977, took 15 seasons to post a winning record. But in 1995 the Mariners had a magical finish, winning the American League West title. 2001 was the Mariner's last season to make the playoffs, but without question Seattle has a devoted fan following. Each year, around two million fans visit spectacular Safeco Field, one of baseball's finest parks.
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Super Bowl participants in 2005 led by legendary coach Mike Holmgren (they lost), the Seahawks sell out every home game. The Seattle Seahawks are owned by Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft, who also owns the Portland Trailblazers pro basketball team and is a minority owner of the Sounders FC pro soccer team. Now coached by Pete Carroll and led by quarterback Charlie Whitehurst, the Seahawks generate so much excitement among Seattle sports fans that the noise at CenturyLink Field (formerly Qwest Field) can be deafening!
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In 2009, the Sounders began their inaugural season as Major League Soccer's (MLS) 15th team and proceeded to take the city by storm. During their first season, attendance surpassed all league records, and every home game was sold out. The team finished the 2009 season with a winning record and qualified for the MLS playoffs, where they were eliminated in the conference semi-finals. MLS Commissioner Don Garber declared Seattle to be Soccer City USA.
The exciting Storm basketball team joined the Women's National Basketball Association during the 2000 WNBA expansion to 16 teams. Games are played at KeyArena, former home of the Seattle Sonics.
The University of Washington is the largest university in the northwestern United States. Founded in 1861, it is one of the oldest universities on the west coast. It has a storied athletic tradition. The Husky football team, under the leadership of Steve Sarkisian fought out 5 wins in 2009. The 2010 season finished with one of the Huskies best records in years (6-6,5-4 Pac-10). The regular season culminated with a big win over the Washington State Cougars in the Apple Cup. Washington Huskies basketball coach Lorenzo Romar anticipates an outstanding season for his program this year.
Although not actually located in Seattle, occasionally WSU games are played at CenturyLink Field and KeyArena for all the Cougar fans in the area. In Seattle, there are two kinds of people - purple Huskies and red Cougars. And the rivalry goes back long and deep! The Apple Cup game, the yearly football clash between the two teams, alternates years between Pullman and Seattle.
CenturyLink Field is a state-of-the-art Seattle sports and events stadium, and is home to the Seahawks and the Sounders FC as well as mega-star concerts. Sitting just south of downtown near the waterfront, it was designed with its location in mind offering views of Elliot Bay and the ferry boats, Mt. Rainier, and parts of the city skyline.
Safeco Field, the Seattle Mariners stadium, has earned a reputation as a fantastic setting for baseball since the Inaugural Game on July 15, 1999. Baseball fans enjoy excellent views of the game action from all angles. And when the action slows a little, fans can take in the sweeping views of the downtown skyline and beautiful sunsets over Puget Sound.Hotels near Safeco Field and Qwest Field
Photo by Liesl Matthies
Voted annually as the most scenic football stadium in the nation, Husky Stadium is located on the western shore of Lake Washington. It has a U-shaped design and seats in the north end offer views of Lake Washington and the Cascade Mountains. From the north upper deck, fans can see Mt. Rainier, the Olympic Mountain Range and downtown Seattle. It is one of the loudest stadiums in the country. Many claim that the audience "wave" originated here! Hundreds of Seattle sports fans travel to the game by boat, mooring on Lake Washington next to the stadium and riding the UW crew team shuttle to and from the docks to the game.
From atop the Space Needle
KeyArena (aka Key Arena)
Home to Seattle Storm, KeyArena was originally built in 1962 as the Washington State Pavilion for the 1962 Seattle World's Fair. The Beatles played here in 1964, and Elvis Presley in 1970. It was home to the NBA Supersonics for 41 years until the team moved to Oklahoma City in 2008. In addition to hosting Seattle sports events, KeyArena is also used as an entertainment venue for concerts, ice shows, circuses, and wrestling events. KeyArena is part of the Seattle Center complex just north of downtown.
Come out and cheer for your favorite Seattle teams!
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