Forewarned and Forearmed

Blood-pressure“Red Letter Day” comes to us from the Medieval Age with multiple meanings – some good, bad. That’s why today, Wednesday, April 23 qualifies as one.

The day includes one of six weekday daytime games that will take place at Safeco Field during the 2014 Major League Baseball season.

For some, it will be a day off from work to enjoy a ball game. For others, it may turn out to be “one of those days” characterized by SODO’s unique mix of traffic congestion including cars, pedestrians, heavy-gauge freight and passenger railroad trains, light rail, marine cargo trucks and not nearly enough Metro buses.

Weekday games might seem like pleasant reminders of baseball’s pastoral past. But they result from modern factors that include player collective bargaining agreements, team travel requirements and broadcast times.

It is not guaranteed that daytime weekday games will result in gridlock, but they are the days when the odds run in that direction. A typical weekday daytime game starts at 12:40 and will most likely end around 3:40 though occasional extra innings may lengthen that time considerably. Nearby garages used by baseball fans are frequently cleared out and closed down by 4:30 pm.

Other daytime games to plan for are Wednesday, May 14; Tuesday, June 17; Wednesday, July 23; Wednesday, August 6, and Wednesday, August 27.

The official NFL schedule is not yet available, but when it comes out you can expand the list of Red Letter Days to include any weeknight Seattle Seahawks game (Mondays or Thursdays) taking place at Qwest Field.

Even though it was just an exhibition game, last year’s Thursday night preseason game between the Seahawks and the Raiders coincided with a very bad traffic day.

Soccer games during the week are normally played in the evening with four weeknight games in 2014: May 7, August 20, September 12 and October 10. Soccer fans start arriving in the area around 5:00 pm, give or take.

Forewarned is forearmed.