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Do You Have Any Barcelona Pre-Match Advice for a First-Time Sounders Attendee?

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Sounders fans, I have a request for information I'd like your help with. I got this email today from a Sounders fan who lives on the east side of the mountains and has been rooting for the team this season from over yonder. And... Well, I'll let him tell you the rest:

We have tickets for the August 5th match with Barcelona and we were wanting to make the most of our first Sounders experience. If you could, I was wondering if you might share some tips to help us around that day.

My wife, my daughter (age 8 ) and I are making the trip that morning. We are planning on arriving in Seattle early enough to buy Sounders gear and hit the park for the march to Qwest. Do you have any insider tips on merchandise, parking, the march, pre-game activities, autograph opportunities, or anything else that we shouldn't miss? Any suggestions that you have will be greatly appreciated.

We can’t wait. The atmosphere at games is amazing. It will be so incredible to actually be there in person.

Thank you in advance for any help.

Tony

I'm thinking that collectively the people reading this have a whole lot of matchday (or weekday match evening) experience. What would you recommend?

I'm thinking DON'T park around Qwest if you can help it. On normal match days, parking at Safeco is $10. For bigger games, like Barcelona, or when there's a Mariners game at the same time, they jack it up to $40!! (That's not a typo.) Parking can be had for less if you park farther away, but I think public transport to the stadium might be a better option. Anybody have info on parking elsewhere plus light rail, Sounder trains, bus routes, etc.?

Also, be sure to arrive earlier than you think you'll need to to park and get to the march. I have yet to make it at the very beginning of one. (This is entirely not my fault, by the way. Let's just say my husband and I have a mixed marriage when it comes to the time we feel we need to get to the stadium.)

Also, if you have kids in this age group, what do you recommend and where will they find it? Face painting? Hair painting? Autographs?

Anything else they shouldn't miss? What do you think?