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Seahawks tailgating culture isn’t traditional, but there’s plenty to do, see, and eat

Washington Redskins vs Seattle Seahawks Photo by Sporting News via Getty Images via Getty Images

The Seattle Seahawks are known for having the loudest fans in the league and a beautiful stadium, yet one that’s also one of the most intimidating to play in the NFL. But when it comes to tailgating culture, the 12s tend not to pop up on the national scene. You could see plenty of tailgating on I-5, but that’s a different, less fun story altogether.

If you ask the typical NFL fan about famous tailgating fanbases, the Buffalo Bills, Green Bay Packers, and Kansas City Chiefs immediately come to mind. Location matters considerably as all of those stadiums are constructed outside of congested downtown areas and have massive outdoor parking lots to get the grill out, bring the coolers, and get hyped up for game day with friends, family, and strangers alike.

But if you’re a Seahawks fan? Sorry, tailgating isn’t actually allowed on Lumen Field premises at all. The team website even recommends the 8th Ave. and Holgate lot as one of the alternatives.

Official stadium parking is limited to the garage — you are not seriously going to tailgate in the garage, are you? — and the north lot. Don’t even think about bringing your RV because that’s prohibited. In fact here’s a little tale from Field Gulls commenter “Easley” about the days when you could so such a thing.

“The best Seahawk tailgating I ever got to do was when my dad was able to park his RV in the parking lot at Century Link. We would show up early, eat breakfast and start drinking while watching the early game. After the Hawks played we would go back to the RV, eat dinner and watch the late game while the traffic dissipated. The drive back to his place in Puyallup would have minimal traffic. It was fun while it lasted, but sadly they don’t let you have those RV spots anymore.”

But that doesn’t mean there aren’t tailgating options within reasonable distance from the stadium! And that doesn’t mean the Seahawks are devoid of any pre-game festivities! Unfortunately due to pandemic restrictions we didn’t have any fans (and thus no tailgating) for Seahawks games in 2020, but pre-COVID you might have seen “The Beast Bus” at Hawk Alley on Utah Avenue. There’s a story behind how this double decker bus from the 1980s turned into a prime hangout setup.

The Beast Bus is part of Hawk Alley on Utah Avenue before the pandemic, and it’s one of the more notable tailgating areas. Free food, live entertainment, drinks for the adults, and the $30 donation/admission goes to great causes, including Ben’s Fund. Here’s a snippet from a recent Q&A with Beast Bus co-founder Frazer Loveman:

Q. The Beast raises lots of money for local charities, particularly Ben’s Fund, a local autism nonprofit. Why was autism chosen as a cause to support?

A. The Seahawks general manager, John Schneider, and his wife, Traci, are the founders of Ben’s Fund, named after their son who is autistic. The fund provides support to families who have a child who is autistic. Ben Seher has a nephew on the autism spectrum, and others on The Beast team have a connection as well, so Ben’s Fund was a perfect fit.

In addition to Ben’s Fund, The Beast has also raised funds for Vision House, which helps break the cycle of homelessness for families with children, and Justice and Soul, which helps provide professional cosmetology training to young women and men who have been trafficked. Throughout the year, “The Beast” participates in events for local nonprofits and has provided donations for auctions.

Here’s a little sample of what Hawk Alley brings on game day. Yes, even the enemies are present and having a good time!

If tailgating away from the stadium isn’t your thing, the Seahawks just announced the return of Touchdown City, which is free with a game ticket. I gotta say, the pork carnitas nachos and Cuban sandwich are right up my alley for consumption.

Hopefully everyone who does tailgate and attend Seahawks games this year has a safe and fun time reuniting with their fellow 12s after an entire season watching the home team from home.