Ten Years Ago: Seahawks Fans Partied & Froze in Seattle’s Streets
I was there in the cold inside the stadium as we celebrated Seattle's first Super Bowl win, and I can hardly believe it has been 10 years already.
Seattle Celebrates Super Bowl XLVIII in the Cold
Full disclosure: I have been a Seattle Seahawks fan since age 5 way back in the 1980s, and attended every game of that memorable Super Bowl winning Season. I had always watched other cities celebrate with a Super Bowl parade and dreamed of the day when the Seahawks would host one of their own. I knew my whole family would have to be there once the Seahawks announced they were hosting a city-wide party to celebrate the franchise's first Super Bowl win over the Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII. Anyone who made "Celebrate 48" (that was the official name of the event) will remember 2 things the most: first, just how many people were there, and second how darn cold it was.
Seahawks Celebrate 48: Between 700,000 and 1 Million Fans & 21° Wind Chill
Seattle, Washington is mostly known for rain, but on the day of Celebrate 48, it was known for cold with highs of only 31°. It was also windy making the windchill high closer to 21° and it sure felt like that cold. My family managed to get tickets to the stadium event and arrived as early as the gates opened up so we didn't have to deal with the crazy packed streets, but we could not escape the cold. As the morning went on, the schedule was delayed for hours because of the large unexpected turnout on the streets and the difficulty of the parade to move through. Luckily my family and I were mostly prepared wearing snowboarding gear and wrapped blankets to keep warm. My wife and I also took turns holding our seats while the others warmed up inside the concourse. Even though we had tickets to the event, no seat was reserved and if we all left to warm up we would lose our seats. (Yes, we lost our first seats for that reason)
The Seahawks First Super Bowl Championship Team Arrives
Finally, the team arrived at the stadium hours late after trying to weave through the over 700,000 people who filled the streets on the way. One remarkable stat from that day is that even with almost 1 million people in downtown Seattle at once, there were 0 arrests. The positive energy felt all over the city must have been one of the things that helped everyone through the cold. The team walked through the team tunnel across the field one at a time until the entire team and coaching staff were on a large stage on the Hawks Nest side (north). We listened to Paul Allen, John, Pete, Sherman, Russell, and more talk on the mic about what winning Seattle's first NFL Championship meant to them. Then at the end, Pete hinted they were planning on doing it again and the crowd went wild. Of course, no one had any idea the team would get to the Super Bowl the next year, only to lose tragically to the Patriots. It is still one of the greatest Seahawks memories I have as after almost 44 years as a fan.