I had the pleasure of attending my first real soccer game today – the US open cup final where the Seattle Sounders were crowned the US Open Cup Champions for the second year in a row after defeating the visiting Columbus Crew. While I’m not much of a soccer fan, the Sounders’ strong fan base really make it a great experience. If you ever get to a game, you’ll want to make sure to get there early for the pregame rally at Occidental Park followed by the “March to the Match”, where, as the name implies, everyone marches the 3 blocks from the park to the stadium. While the format was a little different for the Open Cup Final, typically the Sounders band (called Sound Wave) leads the march to the stadium where they entertain while people are entering the stadium. When they are ready, a dedicated group of followers that call themselves the Emerald City Supporters, or ECS, participate in a march of their own, which tends to be quite the spectacle involving smoke bombs, flares, and chanting of various rally cries. Once they arrive, they fill in on one end of the stadium and don’t stop their supportive chants and songs until the game ends. Once you’ve had your fill of the pregame entertainment and make your way to your seats, the game flows pretty well when you are watching it in person. Anyway, this is a photo blog, so I’ll get on with the photos. I didn’t have press credentials or anything, so the shots from inside the stadium are just from my seat.
One last thing to consider: Many stadiums and venues have restrictions on what you can bring for camera equipment (focal length restrictions, etc.), so make sure you check before you go.