I took the photo above after failing to find a good place to lock my bike near the stadium Saturday for an afternoon Sounders FC match. That’s a lot of bikes. Every bit of the temporary “bike racks” was completely covered. It looks like biking to the stadium has caught on.
Large events highlight the absurdity of dependence on personal motor vehicle transportation perhaps more than anything else. For example, if every person who locked their bike to the rack drove a car instead, their parked cars would take up a huge amount of parking lot space in either the surface lots or garages at the stadium. And, as anyone who has driven to an event knows, they would have significantly increased the time it takes everyone to leave the stadium parking areas.
Biking is by far the best way to get to large events. To use Sounders games as an example, getting in and out of Pioneer Square on a game day is a massive headache in a car. But on bike, you just zip past lines of cars and lock up near the north entrance. Easy. Better yet, you get to experience and be part of the pre-game excitement with the hordes of people walking to the stadium.
Given that an entire development could be stalled due to a a failure to come up with an agreement for a measly 491 parking stalls on the north end of Century Link Field, encouraging more people to bike makes a whole lot of sense. There are hundreds of bikes in the photo above. If the stadium can double that number, they won’t even need those parking spaces (assuming they even need them now).
It would not be hard for the Sounders to double the number of people who bike to their games. The Sounders’ marketing team has proven how successful they can be at getting people excited and active.
In Portland, the Bike to Blazers event encourages people to ride to the stadium by throwing an event and even organizing rides from neighborhoods to the Rose Garden. How cool would it be to have meeting points throughout the city for group rides to Sounders games (or Mariners or Seahawks)? It would not take that much effort to make it happen, and the stadium could easily cut down on its parking needs.
Most importantly, though, it would be a blast.
Biking to Sounders games rocks! Especially to a game like Saturday’s! And vuvuzelas make great bike horns (see photo).
We rode from Queen Anne/Fremont along the waterfront on the way there and through downtown and Dexter on the way home. The kid holder was inspired by my childhood Gilligan’s island fascination. It’s the S.S. Minnow (S.S. standing for Seattle Sounders, of course!) If I can find some helmets that look like coconut shells, it will be the icing on the cake!