Light Rail and Soccer

On Saturday, Light Rail finally started rolling in Seattle. It's not a perfect system, but it could grow into a great transit solution, if Seattle will just stop talking to itself and build some damn infrastructure.

I thought about jumping on the train for the rides today, but I didn't feel like dealing with the crowds. And I was tired. So decades from now, I'll be able to tell folks I passed on a major historical event for the city because I preferred to have a nap.

You can read more about the opening in the article.

What really stuck me about the article was this line:

The sold-out Sounders FC soccer game, which drew more than 65,000 fans to Qwest Field, caused surges at nearby stations. But after the game, Sound Transit rolled up an extra two-car train at Stadium Station.

What? 65,000 people are showing up for a Soccer game in Seattle? Isn't that, like, 2/3 of entire professional Soccer fan base in the US? And apparently, the Sounders are drawing an average of 29,983 people to each home game.

The Mariners only draw 28,761.

Those number are shocking. I don't know if I should be more happy for the Sounders or more embarrassed for the Mariners.


Sharkbytes (TM) said...

Don't know much about soccer, but I'm really happy about the success of a light rail system!

Dave said...

As an I-5 neighbor down here in Portland, I can relate to the Light Rail and Soccer combination. Portland has has good success with Light Rail, although it has taken many years to get even a moderate infrastructure built out. I guess it's easy - all it takes is time and money!

And Soccer! The Portland Timbers are doing their thing in a city who remembers the old Timbers' glory days.

Now about that "combination."

Your comment about an extra car for a 65k fan game rings a bell. We've had those kinds of faux pauxs in the past, the Tri-Met (the transit system) has learned its lessons. Many additional trains and more shuttle buses added for games, concerts, parades, or any significant event. With anything, we get better at something with practice.

Thanks for the SEA/PDX connection.



Dwacon said...

Yeah... it is nice. Portland has GREAT light rail.

Cromely said...

@Sharkbytes: I'm glad it's finally here. Now if only they had built it 40 years ago when they initially tried. Or if we hadn't been so short sighted to cancel the Monorail a couple years ago after 3 vote in favor of it.

@Dave: Glad to see soccer is growing in PDX. I've been impressed with with what I've seen from TriMet. I especially like the Ride Free area. I can travel to PDX and stay at the Doubltree at the Lloyd Center and then hop on the train to downtown and Powells. It's so much easier than dealing with parking, or the cost of downtown hotels. It's a great way to get to the Saturday (or is it Sunday?) market, too.

@Dwacon: I'll have to try it from the airport sometime. I should probably make my next SEA-PDX trip via the Amtrak, too.