The past few weeks Seattle has been abuzz with the news that the Sacramento Kings could be making their way up to the Pacific Northwest. Being a non-native Seattleite (and not a huge NBA fan…instead of watching the players on the court, I spend my time watching the fans in the stands – hours of entertainment) I was surprised to see so many people rally around the news. It seemed like basketball was the only thing the entire city could talk about. #SeattleArena was trending on Twitter, people were throwing out names for the ‘it-could-happen-but-might-just-be-a-pipe-dream’ stadium, every TV station was covering the story, people on the bus were excitedly chatting with their seatmates about what this would mean for the city, even my barista at my local coffee shop asked me what I thought about it, and on and on. There’s no doubt that Seattleites love their sports. Actually, ‘love’ might not be a strong enough word to describe the level of commitment that we have towards our sports teams. Example: during the NFL playoff game last January when the Seahawks played the New Orleans Saints, the infamous Seattle fans known as the "12th Man" cheered so loudly when running back Marshawn Lynch was bouncing off eight different Saints defenders for the touchdown that sealed the Seahawks' upset win, that the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network recorded a small tremor from a nearby monitoring system. You read that right: the 12th Man literally caused an earthquake.
Football isn’t the only sport that has diehard fans in Seattle. Before each home game the Sounders have a parade that marches right past Curator HQ. We can actually hear the cheering through our brick walls. Every year since the team started in 2009 they have broken MLS attendance records, and in 2011 the average home game attendance was 38,496. This means that for the whole season about 800,000 fans showed up to loudly cheer on our Sounders. Put into context, that figure surpasses all but two NHL teams' 2010-11 total. It also means that the Sounders outdraw 30 of 32 NFL teams.
So with all of these examples of loyalty to Seattle sports teams, I guess I shouldn’t have been so surprised to see every Seattleite insanely excited about the possibility of another team making their way to the Emerald City. After all, you’d be hard pressed to find another city that not only has the level of dedication to their teams as we do, but has also taken that dedication a step further by creating an actual brand around that passion. So if we do end up getting an NBA team here, they will be damn lucky to call Seattle home.