|Seattle Travel Guide|
SPORTS IN SEATTLE
The first major professional modern day sports franchise started in Seattle was the Seattle Supersonics (later "Seattle Sonics") National Basketball Association team (1967). They were joined by the Seattle Pilots baseball team in 1969. Both team names reflected the local importance of the aerospace industry. The Pilots lasted only one year, playing at Sick's Stadium, previously home to several minor league teams, before relocating to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Their sole season was immortalized in Jim Bouton's book Ball Four.
Legal wrangling over the move of the Pilots pressured Major League Baseball to award Seattle a new franchise, the Mariners, starting in 1977. The Mariners would play in the newly built Kingdome, an indoor sports facility they shared with the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League, who started play the previous year. For a time, all three of the city's major sports teams used the Kingdome, despite criticism of it as a sterile, unattractive venue. It was little lamented when demolished in 2000, and replaced with a new stadium (later named Qwest Field) built for the Seahawks on the same site. By this time the other sports had long since relocated: the Sonics now use KeyArena exclusively; the Mariners' new home is the well-regarded, retractable-roofed Safeco Field.
The city's first professional sports championship was brought to the city by way of the PCHA Seattle Metropolitans in 1917. The professional hockey team, which represented Seattle from 1915-1924, was in fact the first U.S. team to win the coveted Stanley Cup, beating the Montréal Canadiens. They returned to the Stanley Cup finals twice more. The first, again versus Montreal, was in 1919. That series was cancelled due to an outbreak of influenza with the two teams tied at 2-2-1. The Metropolitans last went to the Stanley Cup finals in 1920, when they lost to the Ottawa Senators.
In addition, the University of Washington, Seattle University, and Seattle Pacific University field teams in a variety of sports, including football and basketball. Their teams are known as the Huskies, Redhawks, and Falcons, respectively. The Husky football team has a wide following that ranks with those of the major professional teams in the city.