With professional football, baseball, ice hockey, soccer, and women's basketball teams, as well as the University of Washington Huskies teams, Seattle is definitely a city of sports fans. Ticketmaster (tel. 800/745-3000 or 206/346-1660; www.ticketmaster.com) sells tickets to almost all sporting events in the Seattle area. You'll find Ticketmaster outlets at area Fred Meyer stores.
Seattle's most popular professional sports team is the American League's Seattle Mariners (tel. 206/346-4001; www.seattlemariners.com). The team has a devoted following, so buy your tickets well in advance if you want to see a game.
The Mariners' retro-style Safeco Field is one of the most beautiful ballparks in the country. It's also one of only a handful of stadiums with a retractable roof (which can open or close in 10-20 min.), allowing the Mariners a real grass playing field without the worry of getting rained out.
Ticket prices range from $7 (for the bleachers in advance, $8 on game day) to $65. Though you may be able to buy a single ticket on game day at the Safeco Field box office, it's tough to get two seats together. To ensure that you get good seats, order in advance at Mariners Team Stores (at Safeco Field, at Fourth and Stewart sts. downtown, or in the Bellevue Square shopping mall) or through Ticketmaster (tel. 206/622-4487; www.ticketmaster.com). You can also sometimes find last minute or deeply discounted tickets on StubHub.com (www.stubhub.com/seattle-mariners-tickets) Parking is next to impossible in the immediate vicinity of Safeco Field, so plan to leave your car behind. You can get to Safeco Field on the Metro bus: 39, 41, 101, 106, 150, 177 lines.
If you'd like a behind-the-scenes look at the ballpark, you can take a 1-hour tour, which costs $9 for adults, $8 for seniors, and $7 for kids 3 to 12. Tickets can be purchased at the Mariners Team Store at Safeco Field, at other Mariners Team Stores around the city, or through Ticketmaster. Tour times vary, and tours are not offered on days when day games are scheduled.
The Seattle Storm (tel. 877/962-2849 or 206/217-9622; www.wnba.com/storm), of the Women's National Basketball Association, play in Key Arena (305 Harrison St.). The Storm is anchored by fan favorites/perennial All-Stars Sue Bird and Lauren Jackson, and are consistently one of the top teams in the league's Western Conference, winning the league title in 2004 and 2010. Most ticket prices range from $18 to $62; they're available at the arena box office or through Ticketmaster (tel. 800/745-3000).
The University of Washington Huskies women's basketball team has also been very popular for years. For information on both the women's and the men's Huskies basketball games, call tel. 206/543-2200 or go to www.gohuskies.com.
Winners of the 2014 Super Bowl, the Seattle Seahawks (www.seahawks.com; [tel] 888/635-4295 or 425/203-8000) play at CenturyLink Field, 800 Occidental Ave. S. (www.centurylinkfield.com; [tel] 206/381-7500), which is adjacent to Safeco Field. Tickets to games run from around $50 to upward of $400 and are sold through Ticketmaster. Regardless of how the Seahawks are doing in a particular year, games against Oakland, Denver, and a couple of other teams usually sell out as soon as tickets go on sale in July or August. You may also be able to pick up last minute tickets at prices ranging from close to face value to far above it, depending on the game, at StubHub.com (www.stubhub.com/seattle-seahawks-tickets). Traffic and parking in the vicinity of CenturyLink Field is a nightmare on game days, so take the bus if you can. If you want a behind-the-scenes look at CenturyLink Field, you can take a tour of the stadium. Tours operate daily at 12:30 and 2:30pm between June and August, and only on Friday and Saturday in other months (note that there are no tours on game days or when other events are scheduled). Tours cost $7 for adults and $5 for seniors and children 4 to 12. During pre-season, fans can attend some training camp practices at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center in Renton, about 30 minutes south of Seattle. Visit the team website for information/admission fees.
Not surprisingly, the University of Washington Huskies (tel. 206/543-2200; www.gohuskies.com), who play in Husky Stadium on the university campus, have a loyal following. Big games (Oregon or Washington State) sell out as soon as tickets go on sale in the summer. Other games can sell out in advance, but obstructed-view tickets are usually available on game day. Ticket prices range from $38 to $80 for reserved seats, and from $32 to $80 for general admission.
The state-of-the-art Emerald Downs, 2300 Emerald Downs Dr., Auburn (tel. 888/931-8400 or 253/288-7000; www.emeralddowns.com), is south of Seattle, off Wash. 167 (reached from I-405 at the south end of Lake Washington). To get to the racetrack, take the 15th Street Northwest exit. Admission is $7. The season runs from early April to late September.
The Seattle Marathon (tel. 206/729-3660; www.seattlemarathon.org), which attracts more than 13,000 participants, takes place the Sunday after Thanksgiving. The race starts and ends at Seattle Center and crosses the I-90 floating bridge to Mercer Island.
If you're a soccer fan, you can catch Major League Soccer's Seattle Sounders FC (tel. 877/657-4625 or 206/682-2800; www.soundersfc.com) at Qwest Field. The season runs February through March, and tickets, which sell for $28 to $98, are available through Ticketmaster (tel. 800/745-3000). The team's owners include the ubiquitous Paul Allen and comedian Drew Carey. The team is quite popular: since its start in 2009, they've sold out every league game, and won the league's Open Cup in 2009 and '10.