The Seattle Mariners (206/346-4001 or 800/696-2746, www.mariners.mlb.com) play Major League Baseball at the striking Safeco Field (1250 1st Ave. S.), located just south of Pioneer Square. Sports fans will appreciate the retractable roof, real grass, state-of-the-art video board, excellent sight lines, family barbecue area, kids’ zone, and the 47,000 made-for-baseball seats. Hour-long ballpark tours (206/622-4487, $3) are given daily in the summer or Tues.–Sun. in winter.
The NFL’s Seattle Seahawks (206/628-0888, www.seahawks.com) play right next door at the equally popular Qwest Field (800 Occidental Ave. S, 206/381-7848), an open-air gridiron stadium that also hosts the Seattle Sounders FC (206/622-3415, www.seattlesounders.net), a professional soccer team that joins the Major League Soccer ranks in 2009 for the first time.
Seattle basketball fans are currently mourning the loss of their beloved SuperSonics to a very controversial move to the Midwest. The only professional basketball action in town these days is the championship-winning (2004) Seattle Storm (206/217-9622, www.storm.wnba.com) women’s professional team, which plays in KeyArena during the summer months.
The Seattle Thunderbirds (206/448-7825, www.seattle-thunderbirds.com) also play at KeyArena. The team competes in minor-league hockey October through May for the Western Hockey League.
© Ericka Chickowski from Moon Washington, 8th edition