Update: The North Sounder train has been cancelled for Saturday, March 8, due to a mudsline. This will also affect some Amtrak runs Saturday, and possibly some Sunday. Any mudsline on the track triggers a 48-hour waiting period before passenger train service can resume through the affected area.

Sound Transit has just announced that it will be running Sounder train service to the Sounders’ season opener match, this Saturday, March 8, against Sporting Kansas City. Sounder will also serve the second match on Saturday, March 15, against Toronto FC.

Notice the unusual schedule for this Saturday, as first kick is at high noon. Trains depart Lakewood at 9:45am and Everett at 10:15am. Returning trains depart 35 minutes after the match.

The match on the 15th is at 1:30 p.m. The Sounder schedule for next week is not yet set.

Sound Transit’s media team graciously provided this poster with some details regarding ramping up ST Express and Link service. Link is expected to run its normal schedule pre-match, and roll out however many trains it takes to clear the crowd after the match. Sending trains to go into service at Stadium Station is a possibility, if needed. But the public information officer assures me that if you head to Stadium Station to go south, you won’t be watching full train after full train pass you by.

There will be extra buses on stand-by after the matches, which will go into service as needed.

For getting to the match this Saturday, a couple extra 594 buses will depart from Tacoma Dome Station at times that will be determined live-day to handle overload. A couple extra 512 buses will depart Lynnwood Transit Center at 9:30 and 10:00 a.m. Metro-operated routes will deploy extra service as needed.

If you haven’t been to a Sounders match before, consider going to the pre-match party in Pioneer Square that starts an hour and a half before the match, followed by the March to the Match an hour before the match. The party is family friendly, with prizes being distributed to a few lucky kids. The party and march feature the tunes of what is probably the only professional soccer marching band in the world, Sound Wave.

If you come by bike, be sure to be there early. There is lots of bike parking on the northwest side of the stadium, but it all gets used.

Regardless, plan to show up early, as there is a line to get through the security check, and make sure any bag you bring with you fits within the size regulations. If you plan to bring food or drink, take a look through those regulations.

7 Replies to “Sounder to Serve First Two Sounders Matches”

  1. I’m going to the Toronto FC game and I’m glad it’s an afternoon game. I have a hard time convincing my wife we can rely on the 522 for evening games, but that’s not a concern in the middle of the day. Go Sounders!

  2. Is 35 minutes after the game enough? If I was way up in the nose bleeds in the south west side, I would be “mildly” stressed out about missing the train.

    1. I can’t answer your question, but your concern illustrates how Sound Transit needs to publicize alternative bus options when Sounder isn’t running. There is weekend bus service to all Sounder stations (except Mukilteo/Edmonds on Sunday), so Sound Transit needs to give information about these bus services (i.e. which route(s) to take to which stations) at the King St. Station and on the Sounder train timetable so that people are assured that they will not be stranded if they miss the train.

  3. Now that we have two extra trainsets, have ODOT/WSDOT and Amtrak considered running game trains for the Cascadia matches. There is a Timbers/Sounders game in Portland on April 5th that would be perfect for a special game train. It’s a noon game in Portland, so they could have a train depart Seattle at 7:30 or 8am, and leave Portland around 5pm.

    1. 3% is about right for the seating capacity of Sounder South and North combined, if the crowd is 32,000 Saturday. I don’t think those trains actually fill up with a crowd this size, at least for futbol. We can’t expect ST to add more Sounder trains if the demand isn’t there.

      The Link ridership is somewhere larger than that, and the STExpress ridership larger than Link ridership. Add on Metro’s ridership, which is larger than STExpress ridership, and Metro’s ability to have buses on stand-by at layover points around downtown for overloaded key routes, and it is a pretty large chunk of the audience that takes transit home after the match. I see lots of people head for bus stops all over downtown. What I don’t see is lots of people headed for parked cars.

      If I had my way, more frequent bus service would continue long after the match. Rushing everyone home is a missed opportunity to generate lots of commerce downtown. Having lots of routes go back to infrequent mode encourages drunk driving, and there are a lot of drunk people downtown after matches, ‘Cause when they’re drinking / they’re always drinking / to a Sounders / victory. The silly cap on rideshare vehicles on the road at any time will also result in drunk driving that could have been avoided, but that’s a rant for another day. At the very least, certain times known for spikes in drunk driving should be exemption periods from the cap.

      I think Metro and ST have sports events down to a science. Torchlight, July 4th, and New Years’ Eve, not so much. But consider how expensive it is to have extra buses on stand-by when a baseball game goes into several extra innings.

      I’d love to hear your ideas for how Metro and ST can do better.

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