No Fees! Free Delivery! 100% Guaranteed!
Select from 12 remaining home games and SAVE 10% - 60%!
|6/08||7:30 PM||Vancouver Whitecaps FC||Save 10%|
|7/03||7:00 PM||D.C. United||Save 10%|
|7/20||1:00 PM||Colorado Rapids||Save 10%|
|7/28||6:00 PM||Club Deportivo Chivas USA||Save 10%|
|8/03||7:30 PM||FC Dallas||Save 10%|
|8/25||7:00 PM||Portland Timbers||Save 10%|
|9/04||8:00 PM||Club Deportivo Chivas USA||Save 25%|
|9/07||7:00 PM||Chicago Fire||Save 10%|
|9/13||7:00 PM||Real Salt Lake||Save 25%|
The Seattle Sounders are redefining Major League Soccer.
A simple statement, with huge ramifications. The MLS' relative success has been predicated on a business plan that attracts smaller, more intimate, more excitable crowds. The Sounders are spitting in the face of that plan.
Founded in 2009 by Joe Roth, Adrian Hanauer, Paul Allen and Drew Carey, Seattle Sounders FC made their home in CenturyLink Field ... home of the Seattle Seahawks . Usually, an MLS franchise playing in an NFL stadium does not produce great results. The New England Revolution and DC United have struggled with playing in massive stadiums that were not built for their specific purposes, but that is not the case for the Sounders. Owned by the state of Washington, CenturyLink Field was actually constructed with the idea of soccer events right behind the idea of the NFL.
The Sounders have a long tradition in Seattle, from the NASL days (1974-1983) to the USL First Division team (1994-2007) to the current MLS incarnation. The Sounders have taken a key sponsorship with Microsoft and run with it. The pitch itself is named Xbox Pitch, and the team colours feature that signature Xbox bright green. As a result, the fans have come out in droves.
The end result is the unchallenged best experience in the MLS.
The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:
Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
The food selections at CenturyLink are numerous, as you would expect in a major league stadium. All of the expected items can be found including hot dogs, soda, popcorn, fries, and burgers. Papa John's pizza is featured as well. Mexican food can be found at the Viva Deco stand and offers a variety of nachos and burritos. There is a craft beer stand that offers a variety of microbrews for those that are not interested in the traditional stadium beer. Local chain Ivar's offers fare that is a more specific to the Pacific Northwest, including clams and fries, fish and chips, and clam chowder. They also offer the ever popular garlic fries, which emits an aroma that permeates throughout the stadium at times.
This is as close to a European soccer experience outside of Europe that you will find. It starts with the March to the Match, where fans gather and get to the match together. Once in the stadium, the supporter groups take over. The chanting and singing begins. The Sounders band, Soundwave, play their part in the festivities, marching to the match and playing throughout the game.
The sightlines are great for a Sounders game, with different perspectives from different seats. Specifically, the ability to see the play develop from the upper deck is stronger than lower, and in the lower bowl fans have the ability to see the game on a bit more of a personal level. Above the seating bowl, among the Seahawks banners, are the championship banners for the Sounders, which include 3 U.S. Open championships.
The opening ceremony for the Sounders entrance is simple ... and spectacular. Driven by the fans, all standing, arms raised, two simple drumbeats, followed by a clap, and continued. This continues until the entrance music begins, and the players enter with the traditional soccer entrance. It is indescribable and words do not do it justice. Spectacular!
Both CenturyLink Field and neighbouring Safeco Field are in the SoDo neighbourhood in Seattle. There are quite a few options surrounding the pitch. Immediately adjacent to the stadium are the tents and shops on Occidental Ave. There are many options here to keep fans happy. Other options include Jimmy's on First, The Hawk's Nest and The King Street Bar and Oven.
The stadiums are located right next to the port, so it is not the nicest part of town, and seems pretty run-down. There are options if you are able to look past the initial facade.
This is where Sounders FC REALLY scores. Bleacher Report has ranked Xbox Pitch among the top Football Stadiums for Fans and Atmosphere in the world. The Sounders average a ridiculous 40,000 fans per game. That is far and away the best in the MLS ... by 15,000! The fans of Seattle have embraced soccer and come out in droves to support them. The day of this review, Xbox Pitch saw a phenomenal 55,000 loud screaming fans for the rivalry game against the Vancouver Whitecaps FC. There are numerous supporter groups, including Emerald City Supporters, Gorilla FC, and North End Faithful, to name a few. They are loud and proud, even throwing chants across the pitch to each other.
Getting to the pitch is not too bad. Nestled between I-90 and Highway 99, CenturyLink Field is pretty easy to get to. Finding parking is not a problem. Finding reasonable parking may be a problem. As compared to a Mariners game, parking for the Sounders was significantly more expensive. If parking for the Mariners was $25 one night, the same spot for the Sounders would be $40 the next day!
The stadium is more than large enough to accommodate large numbers of fans. Concourses and washrooms are more than ample.
Although not a cheap ticket, there is a ton of value in a Sounders game. Tickets run from $30 to $115. The concession prices are decent, and parking is on the high side. However, this is the premier experience in the MLS and it won't disappoint. Try checking out a game against the rival Portland Timbers or Vancouver Whitecaps FC, or check out the Sounders when David Beckham and his Los Angeles Galaxy come to town. You won't be disappointed!
An extra mark for the rivalry trophies and how serious they are taken. The game that I attended, the Sounders trumpeted their victories over Vancouver to win the Cascadia Cup.
An extra mark for a historical nod. During the pre-match, the Sounders played highlights of a match between the Seattle Sounders and Vancouver Whitecaps ... of the NASL from the '80s.
An extra mark for the terrific Soundwave band that offers a bit of a college football feel to the match.
Extra marks for the fans ... the 12th man is alive and well in soccer too!
A final extra mark for the Sounder Supporter Alliance, which apparently has the power to remove the GM, and helps makes decisions within the team. All you have to do is be a season ticket holder, or pay to join. Very unique!
The Seattle Sounders FC provide the best atmosphere in the entire MLS. If you are looking for a glimpse of what it may be like to see a European match, this would be the spot for you. The Sounders have taken the huge stadium they play in and used it as an advantage rather than a hindrance. Time will only tell if they can keep this up, but it is certainly out of this world right now!
Follow Dave on Twitter @profan9.
A distinction must be immediately drawn between the regular CenturyLink Field designation, which applies for National Football League games of the Seattle Seahawks, and the configuration applicable to soccer. That configuration is known as the Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field.
The normal seating capacity for soccer extends from a good and steady 35,000 average, which constitutes a sellout for Major League Soccer matches, and can be extended by enhancing the configuration and making more seats available. This is done with what in soccer parlance is termed a friendly, meaning a match involving the Sounders pitted against a big name foreign team. The overall capacity for CenturyLink Field, which opened January 28, 2002, is 67,000.
The Sounders began play using CenturyLink Field as its home venue when the team joined the MLS in 2009. All 22,000 season ticket packages offered by the club during that initial season were sold, giving the Sounders the largest number of season ticket holders in the league. That number has now expanded to beyond 30,000.
In the team's first home match played March 19, 2009 a sellout crowd of 32,523 saw the Sounders defeat the New York Red Bulls 3-0.
The Sounders set a state record for attendance at a soccer match August 5 of last season when 66,848 attended a friendly with FC Barcelona.
The food choice is excellent but nothing over the top.
Atmosphere fueled by the fans is great. Can't deduct much for the piped in sound as most stadiums in the US does this. Very few stadiums in the US leave chants to only the fans.
The access is there but the parking is quite expensive
Overall a good venue.
Wonderful sight lines, deafening roar from the crowd, and beautiful backdrop. My only complaint is they could do better with a better turf, like a hybrid or something.
1201 1st Avenue South
Seattle, WA 98134
1113 6th Ave
Seattle, WA 98101