Seattle to celebrate the opening of NFL football season; plan ahead for traffic delays

Excitement is building for the National Football League season opener and celebration in Seattle on Thursday, Sept. 4 at CenturyLink Field. Thousands of fans will converge in the Pioneer Square and stadium areas for the festivities.

Whether you are headed to the event, or just wanting to travel through the area in the afternoon, allow extra time as there may be significant traffic delays. Public agencies and public transportation providers are coordinating plans to manage traffic. SDOT, the Seattle Police Department, and WSDOT will monitor traffic during the event and make adjustments to keep traffic moving as much as possible. Dynamic message signs will advise drivers, and traffic signals will be set to accommodate incoming traffic before the game. Police Officers on the streets near the stadium will assist traffic.

The Gameday Village will be open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sept. 3 and 10 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. on Sept 4, closing Occidental Avenue South. There will be a free concert on Sept. 4 featuring Soundgarden and Pharrell Williams in the lot north of CenturyLink Field. Concert gates open at 2:30 p.m. If you have game tickets, you are advised to watch the concert on the large screen inside the stadium to avoid missing the Seahawks championship moment. Gates to the concert as well as the stadium will open at 2:30 p.m., and the game begins at 5:30 p.m. Fans with tickets for the game should arrive at the stadium from the south, and are advised to be in their seats by 5 p.m. If you are going to the concert, enter from the north, at South Jackson Street. If you arrive by Light Link Rail and you are going to the game, use the Stadium Station. For more about Sound Transit, see http://tinyurl.com/lofcgpp. For additional tips offered by the Seahawks for fans coming to the concert or the game, please see http://www.Seahawks.com/Kickoff .

Streets near the stadium will close at 7 p.m. for setting up on Sept 3. Police Officers will close streets near the stadium during the day on Sept. 4, starting as early as 9 a.m., as needed to manage traffic, possibly closing streets as far north as James Street. Metro buses will be allowed through. Fourth Avenue South and First Avenue South will remain open.

If you are coming into downtown Seattle or the stadium area on Sept. 4, you are encouraged to travel by bus, light rail, commuter rail, carpool or bicycle. Employees who work in downtown Seattle and not planning to participate in the festivities are advised to leave for home before 3 p.m. or wait until after 5:30 p.m., if possible. You will find real time traffic information on www.seattle.gov/transportation/travelers. If you plan to use public transit, check the websites of your transportation provider to find out about delays or reroutes.

While no Metro Transit buses face planned reroutes or missed bus stops during the Seahawks events Sept. 3 and 4, major traffic delays are expected during the afternoon and evening commute that are likely to affect Metro service. Buses may be more crowded as fans head downtown, and transit customers using buses that pass through downtown Seattle should be prepared for possibly significant delays. Sign up for Transit Alerts in order to receive information from Metro. http://metro.kingcounty.gov/signup/

Links to transportation providers:

http://www.kingcounty.gov/metro

http://communitytransit.org

http://piercetransit.org

http://www.soundtransit.org

http://www.soundtransit.org/Rider-Community/Rider-news/Rider-information-for-Sept-4-NFL-Kickoff