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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

How to stretch your dollar at a Seattle Seahawks game

By Tan Vinh Seattle Times

SEATTLE – Seattle cemented its reputation as a sports city when the Seattle Metropolitans won the Stanley Cup in 1917. Now the Emerald City boasts a stacked roster of professional sports teams, plus a slew of top-notch minor league and college teams.

Over the years, these sporting events have become quite pricey. For today’s fans, how much does it cost to see Seattle teams compete?

We’re looking into that true “get-in” price for games around town, from ticket cost and transportation to the best eats and drinks at the stadium. The goal: figure out how much the frugal fan can expect to spend at a major sporting event in Seattle – at a minimum.

Last month, we checked out the food at a University of Washington football game. This month: a Seahawks game at Lumen Field.

The game: Seattle Seahawks vs. Los Angeles Rams (Rams 30-13)

The all-in price: The cheapest ticket available online was $132.94 after taxes and fees. Add the light rail ($5), cochinita fluffy tacos ($15) and a local craft beer ($10.99), and you’re looking at $163.93.

Tickets: As with any sporting event, ticket prices fluctuate throughout the season based on the opponent, team performance and more. At this early-season game, the Seahawks’ 2023 opening game, the cheapest ticket was in the farthest-away upper third level of Lumen Field for $132.94 ($112 plus $16.30 ticket service fee, $3 processing fee and $1.64 tax). For big games, like the Hawks’ Thanksgiving battle against their division rivals, the San Francisco 49ers, the cheapest ticket found at press time was well over $200. The Seahawks play the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday and the Cleveland Browns Oct. 29.

Transportation: Parking near Lumen Field on game day will break the bank, with garage and lot prices soaring well above $50. Public transit is the economical option: $5 for round-trip fare from Mount Baker Station to the game on light rail. Many get off at the Stadium Station, but I found the International District/Chinatown Station more efficient – less foot traffic and a short wait at crosswalks.

Food: The Seahawks set up eight of Amazon’s “Just Walk Out” eateries or “checkout-free” concession stands this season. For die-hard fans who fear missing something when leaving their seats, these automated eateries are the best bet between quarters to get back to your seat quickly. Just scan a credit card or an Amazon One ID upon entering, grab your snacks and exit.

Arguably, the best dinner deal at Lumen Field remains the $41.99 Blitz Bucket from Smokehouse (which feeds four), with jojo wedges drizzled in queso blanco, and chicken strips, pulled pork, macaroni and cheese all topped with pickled jalapeños and green onions. The bad news: It’s available only at the pricey club level. But there are good deals for us plebeians if you know where to look.

Best food for $10 and less: The best pregame deals are at Touchdown City in the Lumen Field Event Center, the pre-funk haunt where Hempler’s all-beef hot dogs cost $5 each. After kickoff, though, Touchdown City and the food specials end.

But this wet autumn calls for the piping-hot Glo’s gumbo ($10). Glo’s will be at Night Market on Nov. 12 and Dec. 17 and at the PNW Market food court near Section 114 on Dec. 31. Other dates may be added later. A substantial gumbo with mounds of shredded chicken, this Creole staple gets packed in a portable, 16-ounce paper cup and served with plastic utensils.

For those with a sweet tooth, Zuri’s Gourmet Donutz returns Nov. 12 at the Muckleshoot Heritage Plaza (other dates might be added later). The Lynnwood shop has a cult following in the North End for its wacky flavor combo doughnuts dolled up in Technicolor. The shop plans to bring in pandan and milk tea doughnuts ($6 each) for the Nov. 12 game. If you want sweets inside the stadium, Zuri’s fresh doughnut is the best option for under $10.

Best food for $11-$15: If you need something substantial at bargain-basement prices, it’s hard to beat the 12s Combo (two Hempler’s all-beef hot dogs, a large bag of popcorn and two Dasani bottled waters for $12) at the Local Dogs and Links counters at Sections 109, 124, 135, 149, 313 and 331.

Popular new vendor Big Walt’s Kitchen (Sections 126 and 321) is named after the Seahawks hall of fame tackle Walter Jones. Celebrity food ties seem gimmicky, but damn if these chicken tenders ($15) aren’t great: four to five succulent chicken tenders (about 7 ounces) with a sweet, mildly hot sauce coating every nook of the craggy batter, served with copious golden crinkle fries. The cashier was mum on the “secret sauce,” but that chili mayo is a dead ringer for the popular bang bang sauce.

Also stellar was the chicken rice bowl ($14) at Marimakan, a Southeast Asian pop-up with a big following in the local Singaporean and Indonesian communities. Marimakan returns for games on Oct. 22, Nov. 23 and Dec. 31 at the PNW Market. Brimming with bright allium and capsaicin flavors, the sambal chili shredded roast chicken is served over a mound of rice with green beans, snappy kimchi and fried shallots. Not easy to bring back to your seat, the messy bowl with funky aromas from the fermented ingredients is best eaten at one of the tables or stands near the Marimakan booth. Your seatmates will thank you.

The best dish I ate at Lumen Field, though, was a pair of cochinita fluffy tacos ($15) at the MexiCuban food truck in front of the Muckleshoot Heritage Plaza. MexiCuban is scheduled to be at the Oct. 29 game. More dates might be added later. This clever Yucatan comfort food riffs on San Antonio puffy tacos, with a tangy, achiote-chili-braised cochinita pibil pork topped with pickled red onions and cilantro, served in deep-fried, grainy corn tortillas.

Drinks: Stadium bottled waters and sodas cost between $4.99 and $6.49. Beers, meanwhile, range from $10.99 to $14.99. The best overall beer deal was $6 for a 12-ounce can of Rainier, the pregame special at Touchdown City. Tutta Bella (at Section 137) serves some of the better craft beers in the $10.99-$11.99 range, including 16-ounce cans of Reuben’s Brews of Ballard and Future Primitive Brewing of White Center. For wines, the best deals are the $45-$55 wine bottles; a server will pour the wine into a plastic carafe for you to take back to your seat. Carafes are sold at Tapped & Corked (Sections 119 and 139), Cityside Bars (Section 147) and Muckleshoot Sports Lounge (Section 128).