Tonight marks the first game that one can take light rail to see the Mariners play at home. As a pretty serious baseball fan, that’s a big deal to me, and I’ll be there tonight. Woo!
Given the need of transit agencies to get approval from a broad constituency, and the extent to which the spread of jobs and homes makes it hard to serve many commuters, it’s important to look out for non-commuter markets that are suitable for transit. Along with the airport, sporting events fit the bill for having expensive parking and ugly congestion not mitigated by buses. It’s that combination that probably made the Airport a more attractive destination than Southcenter, which is easy and cheap to drive to.
There will be a non-trivial number of people whose primary interaction with Link will be through Mariners, Seahawks, Sounders, and (one day) Husky games. It’s a market to which I hope Sound Transit makes a serious effort to provide a good rail experience. That means some crowd control, perhaps an additional train or two for big events, and lots of assistance to expedite the ticket-buying process.