Seattle is a sports fan's paradise: four major pro teams, one NCAA Division I athletic program, two NCAA Division II athletic programs and a host of semi-professional teams. The only problem sports enthusiasts in Seattle have is choosing which of the countless athletic events in the area to attend.
Summer is the season for America's national pastime, and few baseball parks are a more popular destination than Safeco Field. Over the years the Mariners have captured the hearts of Washington residents, creating a growing base of loyal fans. Thanks to Safeco Field's state-of-the art retractable roof fans have been able to enjoy outdoor baseball without the fear of rainouts. Spectacular sightlines and a wide selection of delicious ballpark food help keep the park near capacity throughout the season.
The Seattle Seahawks have a loud and loyal fan base despite being one of the NFL's least glamorous franchises. Though their postseason resume is modest at best, the fans come out in numbers to see the Hawks each fall. Recent years have brought relative success to the team, and the outpouring of support has only increased. The Seahawks play at cutting-edge Qwest Field, which is literally across the street from Safeco Field.
The indoor action is fast and furious at Key Arena, home court of the Seattle SuperSonics. One of the NBA's best teams during the late 70's, the Sonics experienced a return to glory during the 1990's with stars Gary Payton, Shawn Kemp and coach George Karl. The Sonics hold one of only two professional sports championships in the city's history, and are consistently in the playoff hunt.
Seattle's WNBA team joined the young league in the summer of 2000, allowing basketball fans in Seattle the chance to see women's hoops at the professional level. In 2004, just their fifth season in existence, the Storm brought home the WNBA championship. The Storm play their exciting brand of unselfish basketball at Key Arena.
While hockey out west is not nearly as popular as it is in the northeast, Washington still offers great hockey action at the developmental level. Washington has four teams within the Western Hockey League, a minor league hockey organization that provides the NHL with much of its young talent. The Seattle franchise joined the league as the Seattle Breakers in 1977, changing names to the Thunderbirds in 1985. The Thunderbirds play at Key Arena, and draw large crowds each season.
The newest addition to the Western Hockey League, the Everett Silvertips are just a short drive north of Seattle. The Silvertips play at the Everett Event Center, a deluxe multi-purpose complex that includes luxury suites and a VIP club lounge in its hockey set. The close proximity between the Thunderbirds and Silvertips is sure to create an exciting Puget Sound rivalry.
The current incarnation of Seattle soccer is the Sounders, an "A" league soccer team whose goal is to provide fans a fun, relaxed soccer experience. The Sounders field both a men's and a women's team, and each club is highly active in the community. Each year the rosters are full of exciting young talent from around the world, and the players are all eager to prove themselves on a semi-pro stage.
The Rainiers are the AAA affiliate of the Seattle Mariners, and offer a great opportunity to see talented players just one step away from the big leagues. Many players have gone on to successful major leaguer careers following their start with the Rainiers. Keeping an eye on the club's best talent is a great way to see the stars of the tomorrow up close.
The experience of an Aquasox game is part baseball, part carnival and entirely enjoyable. Serving as a Class A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners, the Aquasox organization is geared towards creating a fun family environment that will delight people of all ages. From fireworks nights to fan-participation games and activities, a day at Everett Memorial Stadium is always memorable.
Emerald Downs is a premier thoroughbred-racing track located south of Seattle in Auburn, WA. The facilities include an on-site restaurant, family areas and an area for those wishing to learn about the sport for the first time.