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Cities behind the teams: Seattle

Posted Dec 5, 2017

We go behind the curtain of each NFL team's home city every week presented by Visit The USA.

Whatever Seattle does, it does well. From coffee, music and of course, football, Seattle seems to have the magic touch in turning anything into a huge success. This ability has been seen throughout its history.

Seattle was originally inhabited by Native Americans of the Duwamish and Suquamish Tribes. The first European settlers arrived about 4,000 years after Native Americans and named it Seattle in 1852 after Chief Si’ahl of the Duwamish and Suquamish.

Seattle has seen the rise of several major American industries and cultural moments. In the 19th Century, it was a centre of the logging industry but then became a commercial and shipbuilding centre as a gateway to Alaska. By the mid-20th century, Seattle had become a centre for aircraft manufacturing after the Boeing company were founded there. In the 1970s, Starbucks was started there and in the ’80s and ’90s it developed into a technology centre with companies like Microsoft and Amazon established there. 

The city also has a strong musical heritage. Formerly was known for its jazz, with the famous Jackson Street seeing the beginnings of the careers of Ray Charles and Quincy Jones, it became the centre of the alternative rock and grunge movement in the 1990s, thanks to Nirvana and other bands.

The Seattle Seahawks have continued this tradition of trailblazing, joining the NFL in 1976.  The Seahawks were originally part of the AFC West, but were moved in 2001 to the NFC West after the league realignment.  As a result, they are the only team to have played in both the AFC and NFC Championship games and only team to have switched conference twice.   They have won ten division titles and three conference championships.

Their first appearance in a Super Bowl was in 2005 at Super Bowl XL where they lost 21-10 to the Pittsburgh Steelers. They found redemption in 2013, blowing out the Denver Broncos 43-8 in Super Bowl XLVII. In their third Super Bowl appearance the following season they lost 28-24 to the New England Patriots.

Unsurprisingly, this success has brought them a large and vocal fan following. The Seahawks fans are nicknamed the ‘12th man’ and are known for their ability to generate huge amounts of noise at their home stadium, CenturyLink Field.  The Seahawks fans have twice set the Guinness World Record for the loudest crowd noise at a sporting event, first in 2013 against the San Francisco 49ers and then in the same season against the New Orleans Saints. The fans were once so loud after a Marshawn Lynch touchdown run that the noise registered on the Richter scale!

Currently, the Seahawks have eight wins and four losses and sit in second in their division having just beaten the number one seed in the conference, the Philadelphia Eagles, this past weekend after a vintage Russell Wilson performance.

Visitors to Seattle should make a beeline for the Space Needle. It is one of the symbols of Seattle and an iconic feature of the city’s skyline.  Built in 1962, this 605ft structure has an observation desk with which to admire the city and its lush surroundings and the rotating SkyCity restaurant.

Once you have descended the Needle, it is recommended that you visit Pike Place Market. This market overlooking the Elliott Bay waterfront opened in 1907 and is now one of the oldest public farmer’s markets in the United States. It is registered Historic places and features a variety of unique and iconic shops as well as fresh produce stalls.

For a different experience, make a trip to the Chihuly Garden Glass at the Seattle Center. This exhibit opened in 2012 and is dedicated to the work of Dale Chihuly. Consistently a top-rated attraction, this is a beautiful and comprehensive exhibition.

Finally, the Museum of Flight on Boeing field pays homage to the city’s relationship to transport. It is a non-profit air and space museum and the largest private air and space museum in the world. The museum attracts over half a million visitors every year.

Whatever your taste, Seattle has something for everyone and is a great hub for anyone wishing to explore the mountains and lakes of the State of Washington.

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