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Going to the Game? LEAVE EARLY!!!!

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I will never forget the DC United-Real Madrid game back in 2006. We thought we'd allowed plenty of time to get there, but when the first whistle sounded we were standing outside of Qwest in an interminable bag check line. We'd hoped to see the warmups. Instead we missed the first fifteen minutes of the game.

Things could be even worse tomorrow. Remember that this game will be more than double the size of the usual game, so there will be at least double the traffic. And not only that, tomorrow is the first day of light rail, so there are going to be all kinds of light rail celebrations going on. (Remember that King Street is a big lightrail stop.)

From the Seattle Times:

Sound Transit is organizing one of Seattle's biggest public parties in years, as thousands of people are expected to wait up to an hour for a free train ride Saturday.

Sound Transit is organizing one of Seattle's biggest public parties in years, as thousands of people are expected to wait up to an hour for a free train ride Saturday.

More than 700 paid and volunteer workers, and more than $1 million, are being devoted to making the crowds as comfortable as possible at a dozen Link light-rail stations.

There will be music, information booths, drinking water, some food — even people who will hold your place in line while you're away at one of the portable toilets. Merchants and neighborhood groups will have events at some stops. [...]

Crowd-control strategies are based on experience in Phoenix, where a startling 90,000 people showed up for a light-rail opening in December. In Minneapolis, 52,000 rides were taken during a Saturday light-rail opening in 2004.

On top of that, Bite of Seattle is this weekend, which is going to mean even more people pouring into the downtown on the highways.

So take my word for it:

LEAVE EARLY!!!!