It was a great night to be a Seattle Storm fan. The women's basketball team did as their name suggests, and they took the Connecticut Sun by storm on Thursday, Aug. 5 in a nail-biter of a game that left the crowd on their feet and Seattle victorious after a fourth-quarter rally. The score ended up a close 83-82.
My family was in attendance that night, taking in and adding to the pulsing energy of the crowd. It was the first professional basketball experience for my kids, ages 4 and 6, and they enjoyed the chanting, big-screen Arena Vision and edge-of-your-seat excitement that accompanied the action on court.
The Storm is having its winningest season in 10 years, with an outstanding 24 victories and a 15-game winning streak at home. The 7,500 people in attendance at our game might not compare to the numbers some of Seattle's other professional sports teams draw, but this is a group with spirit. And they are loud.
Even if you aren't a huge basketball fan, it's hard not to get into the thrill of it all. My kids certainly did. They cheered as if they'd been watching the team all season. My 4-year-old even had to cover her ears at times. And the whole experience, with four 10-minute quarters and timeouts, lasted just under two hours, which was great for them.
The Storm games draw all kinds of enthusiasts – we had a family with a toddler on one side of us, two animated elderly ladies with canes on the other, and a rather loud patron behind us – yet the games have a decidedly family-friendly vibe. The conga line at halftime, led by Storm mascot Doppler, was popular for the kids in the audience as was the T-shirts dropped by parachute from above or thrown into the outstretched arms of the crowd from the court. During timeouts, the Storm Dance Troupe entertained and the "fan cam" searched for those who were boogying to the Black Eyed Peas song, "I Gotta Feeling."
Although snacks are not allowed inside, Key Arena provides the standard sports fare – popcorn, nachos, fries and the like. I saw several families bring in empty water bottles so they could fill up at the drinking fountain and save money. I found parking more affordable than I expected; we paid $5 at a nearby lot.
After the game I asked my kids if they enjoyed their experience, and my 6-year-old son replied, "Those girls are good. I was impressed." I thought it a fitting retort. There are only two home games left for the Seattle Storm, on Aug. 17 and 21, so be sure to catch them if you can.
IF YOU GO
Where: Key Arena, 305 Harrison St., Seattle.
Cost: Tickets range from $14 to $55.
Contact: www.stormbasketball.com or 206-217-WNBA (9622).
Taryn Zier is a freelance writer based in Lake Forest Park and mother of one 6-year-old “hooper” and one 4-year-old who would rather cheerlead.