With shouts, cheers and fireworks, Seattle residents celebrated a dominant victory in the Super Bowl — the city’s first major sports championship in more than 30 years.
Thousands of people took to the streets throughout the city and Seattle police had an increased presence in many neighbourhoods Sunday night.
The Seahawks beat the Denver Broncos 43-8. The last time a major Seattle sports franchise won a championship was in 1979 when the Supersonics took the NBA title. The WNBA’s Seattle Storm have won two championships, in 2004 and 2010.
Fans blared horns and launched fireworks – and in the University District, near the University of Washington, fire crews extinguished at least one bonfire as rowdy fans were out in force.
In Occidental Park in Pioneer Square, near CenturyLink Field where the Seahawks play, people waving “12th Man” flags took to the street, and others climbed trees and sculptures. Some fans got on top of a pergola, breaking glass.
Fans in some neighbourhoods blocked traffic, and in downtown a line of cars stretched for blocks as people cheered and horns blared.
Seattle police spokesman Mark Jamieson said Sunday night the biggest concentrations of people were downtown and in the University District. He said no major disturbances had been reported.
Senayet Woldemarian, a 29-year-old physical therapist from The north Seattle Suburb of Shoreline, shrieked giddily and waved her Seahawks flag at honking cars on a North Seattle street: “We got our first Super Bowl!”
Her friend, wedding photographer Taylor Olcott, 28, said it reminded her a little of being in Boston in 2004, when the Red Sox won baseball’s World Series for the first time since 1918.
“This is the first time I’ve really seen Seattle passionate about anything,” she said. “It’s, like, East Coast. It’s very exciting.”
Mayor Ed Murray said in a statement that a Seahawks victory parade would happen Wednesday.
About 30 people watched the game at the Outlander Brewery in Seattle’s Fremont neighbourhood. It was such a blowout that by the fourth quarter, employees had switched one of the three TVs to Animal Planet’s “Puppy Bowl.”
“We’re all in euphoria right now,” said Steve McVay, a 43-year-old Seattle IT worker. “It’s a huge deal for the city. Since the Sonics we haven’t won anything.”
John Caro and his wife, Corina, both 59, whooped their way down Lake City Way in North Seattle, high-fiving passersby.
“I was born here, I was raised here! This is my ultimate dream!” Caro shouted. “We have waited so freakin’ long for this!”
With that, they stepped across the street, with Caro waving his grey Seahawks conference championship hat to stop the traffic.