Even though the Washington Huskies are idle and the Seahawks open their season Sunday in Carolina, traffic in Sodo Saturday will feature another Sounders-Mariners bollix, with a big International District street party tossed in for a little Asian verve to the vehicular mayhem.
The Sounders are expecting to draw the usual 38,000-plus sellout for their 7 p.m. game against the Chicago Fire. The Mariners are expected to at least draw flies for their 6:10 p.m. start against the Tampa Bay Rays, although the major league debut of starting pitcher James Paxton might intrigue some fans looking ahead to 2017 or so.
Additionally, the annual Chinatown Autumn Moon Festival at Union Station Plaza will impact Fifth Avenue South between South Jackson and South Weller streets before and after the sports events. The event features live music, food, dance, culture and crafts.
So if you’re not already in the area, proprietors of these events suggest you begin moving toward your assumed positions soon. Travelers are invited to visit www.wsdot.wa.gov/traffic/
How can this collisions among the worlds happen, you ask?
It’s the Rule of 65,000, a deal struck among the city, Sounders and Mariners 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. On weekday game games, 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. The Mariners have been especially helpful in relieving the pressure by continuing their history, which is now tradition, of playing no relevant games in September — or August or July, for that matter.
Should an arena be built in SoDo, as Chris Hansen still intends, and books a concert for a two-sport night in September, it’s hard to say what might happen, but it might be worth searching information about the Donner Party.