BY Art Thiel 07:15PM 09/22/2012

Two games at once in SoDo? Here’s why

A moment rare for Seattle sports fans Saturday: Nearly simultaneous sports events in the adjacent facilities in SoDo. No injuries have been reported.

CenturyLink will host three football games and one futbol match in eight days. / Wiki Commons

Given all the to-do about traffic in SoDo with a potential third sports facility, what, you may ask, is the deal with nearly simultaneous Mariners and Sounders games Saturday night?

It’s the Rule of 65,000.

The Sounders/Seahawks, the Mariners and the city had a re-negotiation a few years ago in which simultaneous games can be played on the same weekend day as long as the forecasted combined attendance is under 65,000.

But the option for simultaneous games can be invoked only twice in a calendar year.  For games Monday through Friday, the limit is 58,000.

The policy previously had been that no games could start within four hours of one another, which is still generally observed.

A tepid conclusion to another dismal season for the Mariners made the exception possible. The Mariners’ announced paid attendance was 17,671, likely with many no-shows, for the 6:10 p.m. start against Texas. The Sounders drew 38,948 for the 7:30 p.m. for the match against conference-leading San Jose.

The Sounders originally booked the San Jose match for 7 p.m. Sunday. But when the Seahawks’ NFL schedule came out with a game against the Green Bay Packers Monday, the Sounders moved the Earthquakes  game to Saturday to avoid the NFL yard-line markings that would have been in place for a Sunday soccer match.

The Mariners’ game also had a 1 p.m. start time option Saturday in case there was interest in a national-network telecast. Turned out there wasn’t, so they ended up with Saturday night, The Sounders moved their game to 7:30 p.m. from the usual 7 p.m. apparently to ease the “ingress/egress” issue the Mariners have made famous in their opposition to Chris Hansen’s proposed hockey/basketball arena just south of Safeco Field.

According to one Sounders official, if the arena is built in SoDo, “all bets are off” regarding the current rules of play with the city governing stadium usage.

Starting with Saturday night soccer match, CenturyLink will have four football/futbol events in eight days: Seahawks-Packers Monday, Washington-Stanford Thursday and Washington State-Oregon Sunday.


YourThoughts

  • Bayviewherb

    What is the average potential or whatever for Sounder Games and Mariners. How can we evaluate this topic without those figures?

  • Bayviewherb

    What is the average potential or whatever for Sounder Games and Mariners. How can we evaluate this topic without those figures?

  • Michael Kaiser

    And none of this takes into account that our regional traffic morons once again–in a pristine display of public employee insight–decided to shut down 520, Mercer, and 85th and Aurora all on the same weekend. As an aside, do you realize that if one lives on Queen Anne, as I do, that it essentially is impossible to go north this evening because of the game traffic? As it is, I had to drive SOUTH on Aurora this morning to the SODO, get on I-90, then I-5, so I could go to Lynnwood?!? Geniuses abound in the Pacific Northwest. The fans are going to have fun getting in and out of there tonight. Well, I guess they already are at the games. So it will be getting out of there. The Mariners will probably play an extra inning game–lose of course–and the games will get out simultaneously.

    • Pixeldawg13

      Hm. No northbound traffic on Aurora, Fremont, or Ballard bridges? Seems unlikely.

  • Michael Kaiser

    And none of this takes into account that our regional traffic morons once again–in a pristine display of public employee insight–decided to shut down 520, Mercer, and 85th and Aurora all on the same weekend. As an aside, do you realize that if one lives on Queen Anne, as I do, that it essentially is impossible to go north this evening because of the game traffic? As it is, I had to drive SOUTH on Aurora this morning to the SODO, get on I-90, then I-5, so I could go to Lynnwood?!? Geniuses abound in the Pacific Northwest. The fans are going to have fun getting in and out of there tonight. Well, I guess they already are at the games. So it will be getting out of there. The Mariners will probably play an extra inning game–lose of course–and the games will get out simultaneously.

    • Pixeldawg13

      Hm. No northbound traffic on Aurora, Fremont, or Ballard bridges? Seems unlikely.

  • Jamo57

    Yup, it’s not a crisis because the Ms draw the equivalent of a mid-week, mid season basketball crowd. Oh, and they are always done by October 1st, while the NBA gets started around Nov 1st. Thanks for doing your part for traffic mitigation, Ms! And while you are at it, just resist the temptation to sign a mediocre corner outfielder or infielder this winter for $40 million and throw in on the traffic fund. (1) Chone Figgins contract = thousands of port jobs.

  • Jamo57

    Yup, it’s not a crisis because the Ms draw the equivalent of a mid-week, mid season basketball crowd. Oh, and they are always done by October 1st, while the NBA gets started around Nov 1st. Thanks for doing your part for traffic mitigation, Ms! And while you are at it, just resist the temptation to sign a mediocre corner outfielder or infielder this winter for $40 million and throw in on the traffic fund. (1) Chone Figgins contract = thousands of port jobs.