Like most of you, I'm very satisfied with the current stadium situation. Clink is great, and while we would all like a better pitch, the overwhelming benefits of the Clink are more than worth it. But lets just think about life in say 2020? The Sounders have grown even bigger and more popular.. won a few pieces of hardware along the way including MLS Cup and CCL. Lets say then at that time they feel truly ready for their own home in Seattle. The reality is space is extremely limited and finding a completely new space in town just wouldn't be possible or practical. But there might be a space that would possibly suit the needs and not require drastic rezoning.... Where would such a place exist in Seattle? My answer would be the current grounds of the Key Arena.
Forgive the extremely crude depiction here, the main intent is to show the potential dimensions are there. For reference the stadium shown in place of Key arena is Stamford Bridge which was scaled to approximately match the pitch size at memorial stadium for a reference point. In short, it could probably fit. Entrances would be on the south and east ends with the main entrance being the east end and overlooking the fountain.
At that point, memorial stadium could be removed to make way for a large parking structure that would also benefit the rest of Seattle Center for day to day use. Some fans could also utilize parking near Westlake and take the monorail to the game. March to the match could start near the EMP or Needle and proceed to the stadium. While admittedly a shorter march, traffic would not be interrupted.
Other potential benefits would include:
- Higher elevation than Clink - removing the low water table as a grass/hybrid pitch obstacle
- More diverse economic impact from pre and post match spending
- Reduced traffic congestion when Mariners and Sounders overlap (lolz)
- Boost to Seattle Centers economic viability and social importance to the region
- Iconic views of the Space Needle from areas of the Stadium
Certainly there are flaws as well, as there are with any option. Traffic would be a mess even with a dramatic increase in parking structure. And would the cost be worth the benefits? But if the Sounders ever did move forward on their own home, at least to my untrained mind this would be the best option within Seattle Proper.