I Love A Parade: 700,000 Seahawks Fans Turn Out For Super Bowl Victory Bash
As many as 700,000 people "mobbed downtown" Seattle yesterday for the Seahawks' Super Bowl victory parade, throwing a "street bash befitting of world champions," according to a front-page piece in the SEATTLE TIMES. As the "newly anointed champions rolled by, decades of dashed hopes and losing seasons seemed to evaporate." Seattle's "long-suffering fans were suffering no longer." The estimated attendance "eclipsed the city’s latest Census count of about 635,000, easily making it the biggest street party in city history." At least 13,523 Seattle public-school students, about 27% of the 51,000 total enrollment, "reported absent," and of the district's "roughly 3,000 teachers, 565 called out." Seahawks Owner Paul Allen’s First & Goal organization "covered the costs" of the parade and stadium rally. By early afternoon, emergency phone lines "had been clogged as the downtown hordes had overwhelmed cellphone and Internet signals" (SEATTLE TIMES, 2/6). Allen later said that he was told the crowd actually "was a million people." In Tacoma, Dave Boling in a front-page piece notes the attendance figures "didn’t include the many thousands who intended to join in but hit gridlock and turned back." Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said, "I have never seen anything like this" (Tacoma NEWS TRIBUNE, 2/6). In Seattle, Lynsi Burton noted the turnout "exceeded the highest predictions of city officials" (SEATTLEPI.com, 2/5). ESPN.com's Terry Blount wrote, "The whole city went Beast Mode. ... Whatever the number, it was something to see, a victory parade that has to rank among the most impressive ever for any team." Fans "braved massive traffic jams and public transportation overload" (ESPN.com, 2/5). SPORTSPRESSNW.com's Adam Lewis noted when the parade arrived at CenturyLink Field, players, coaches, execs and staffers "climbed down from their rigs and were hailed by another 45,000 season ticket-holders and their families" (SPORTSPRESSNW.com, 2/5).