SEATTLE - Lumen Field and T-Mobile Park welcomed full-capacity crowds on the same night for the first time in more than a year.
"Just the energy, the people, the hot dogs, the people having a good time. People singing and chanting for their team," said Stephen Bloch, who lives in the area.
"I haven’t been back to a game since pre-COVID. So, I’m excited to see full crowds again—see everyone up and loud, hanging out and just having a good time," said baseball fan Derek Lee.
People who live and work in the area said their neighborhood has been too quiet for too long.
"It’s been really hard for a lot of people. It’s been a lot of depression, you could see it in people’s faces. And I think everyone is looking forward to going to games again. I know I am," said Boch.
Staff at Al’s Gourmet Sausage set up early for their biggest night of business in over a year.
"Feels like almost back to normal. I mean it feels like normal and that’s just a great feeling to actually be down here at this time setting up, going through the whole routine that we went through before the pandemic. And I’m just excited," said owner Albert ‘Al’ Griffin.
Griffin has been a vendor near the stadium for 27 years and said 2020 was unlike any other.
"It was very tough. You got to realize you’ve been doing it for such a long time and then all of a sudden it’s gone, I mean literally gone," said Griffin. "15 months of not having fans at all to be back now and see the fans coming back—they’re all excited, enthused. It’s just overwhelming."
The Sounders won the game with more than 27,000 people in attendance. Fans said they have missed being around other fans cheering on their team.
"Literally just seeing people. I feel like I haven’t seen people in like a year and a half. So, it will be nice to be at a place where there’s a lot of people," said Mariners fan Madison Brady.
"There’s a great atmosphere all around the stadium, everyone is having a great time. Everyone is excited to see each other again," said Lee.
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