For those headed to TI6 and unfamiliar with Seattle, we provide an overview of things to do, see, and ways you can get the most out of your TI6 experience.
I have family out in Seattle, so I’m relatively familiar with the city. As an added bonus, I was able to attend The International last year, so I wanted to offer some advice for all those first timers out there. It’s an expensive trip, so I want all you out there to get the most out of your money!
The weather in Seattle is often rainy, which can add a chill to the air. This time of year, you can usually expect cool mornings and nights, so if you haven’t already thrown a sweatshirt in your suitcase, you might want to toss one into your bag before hopping onto that plane.
Public transit should take care of most of your travel needs while you are in the city. At the very least, it’ll get you from the airport to wherever your staying, and Key Arena itself is accessible via transit. Here’s a detailed transit map if you want to scout it out before you get there.
But enough about generalities, let’s talk specifics. Let’s talk about Key Arena.
Save yourself from the food
Arena/stadium food can be awful. I’ve also been pleasantly surprised once or twice with good quality, but if TI6 is anything like last year, there won’t be too much variety outside of what you’d expect. Nachos and hot dogs are well and good, but I try not to eat them for every meal, you know?
Another downside to the food is it’s pretty pricey. But so long as you’re willing to take a little walk, there’re plenty of restaurants in the area. Last year, I tried to avoid anything too close to the arena. Eateries fill up fast, and one time we almost missed a game because it took forever for us to get a table.
Always give yourself some extra time to make it to matches on your must-see list. Don’t make my mistake and over almost miss seeing your favorite team.
Take in the sights
Iconic to the Seattle skyline is the Space Needle. It doesn’t hurt that it’s located practically right next door to Key Arena, but this also means that depending on your timing, getting in can be a pain. It’s a space needle, guys. Not a whole lot of space up there.
Most people are familiar with Pike Place Fish Market, and if you’re not, you should definitely go. The whole place is bustling with action, and if you time it right you’ll be able to see fish being thrown around willy-nilly. The smell can be a little much for some, but it’s still pretty cool to see the fishmongers monger them fish.
There are plenty of museums close to the arena, and these can offer a pleasant diversion during TI6 off times. My personal favorite is the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum, and it’s only two blocks away from the arena. Two others you might want to see that are also close by: EMP and the Pacific Science Center.
And prepare yourself for the lines
The lines for some of the autographs last year were stupid. I didn’t even mess with them. A friend of mine waited hours and walked away with nothing. Why would I want to banish myself to line-waiting when there’s so much other cool stuff to do.
The line at the secret shop could be a drag (I did wait through this line), but a few of my friends told me things moved quicker if you preordered something? I just wanted a mug, guys! I happen to like my coffee.
Keep a camera handy
You never know when something crazy is going to happen or some Lina Inverse lookalike is going to come rounding the corner. I did not regret the investment I made in megapixels in my last phone purchase. I caught a few shots of some streamers I’ve been a fan of for a long time. I won’t mention any names. Suffice to say certain dreams were fulfilled that day.
This may be the most girly thing I ever write on this site, but the thing I liked best about The International was the sense of camaraderie I felt. Everyone was getting amped about the same thing. It was great! It was surreal.
I hope you have a similar experience. Enjoy your time in Seattle, my friends! Maybe I’ll be able to join you next year.