by: Gary Horcher Updated:
SEATTLE - At 10 p.m. Wednesday, the stillness around the elaborately-assembled concert stage was only broken by the rumble of a single forklift, hoisting last-minute banners to the temporary towers lining the Century Link Field north parking lot. In 18 hours, as concert amps thunder through a throng of fans, this area will become the opposite of stillness.
The stage is set for the free concert given by Seattle’s own Soundgarden, and Pharrell Williams, and the big crowds crashing the pregame party. Seahawks legend and hall of famer Steve Largent says the numbers could be staggering.
"I'm hearing there could be a hundred thousand people here that don't even have tickets to the game downtown tomorrow,” said Largent. “That is really mind-blowing to me."
At the NFL Game Day Village, which has taken over Occidental Park, a lot of Seahawks fans who don't have game tickets told KIRO 7 they are coming for all of the free events tonight and Friday anyway.
Seahawks fan Susan Morreira figured arriving very early could be the key to finding a spot to park, and to stand. “I was looking at how early they said people should start getting here, everything starts at 2 or 2:30, it'll be crazy,” she said.
“It's going to be wonderful,” echoed 12th Man Vernard Vosley. “You're going to see a lot of excited fans! And if we see anybody that has on Green Bay (gear) we need to boo them, because we're invested!"
In seconds it became very apparent that the Packers also have a loyal, well-traveled fan base. Packer fans invested heavily in the most expensive ticket in the NFL.
Packer fan Ian Beaton drove from Vancouver B.C. after paying $413 for a seat sold at face value for $60.
“We paid $750 for ours,” said Packer fan Leanne Reichhoff, from Rice Lake, Wisconsin.
Jill Stadtmueller of Denver had the game and the concert in mind when she paid a season ticket holder $385. “Which is ridiculous,” she said.
Starting at 2:30 p.m., fans will start gathering in the Century Link North lot for a screening of a Seahawks NFL film, followed by the free concert at 4:30.
“Even if you're not in the game you're still going to have the same experience,” said Seahawks fan Shawn McMahan “Just being outside the ‘Clink,’ there's nothing like this."