Each year I do an annual “beer at the ballpark” report to help guide beer lovers to the good stuff at Mariners games. I do not typically do the same for Lumen Field, the stadium across the street that serves as the home of the Sounders and Seahawks. So, with Sounders season on the verge of kicking off, here is the report that I usually don’t do.
Lumen Field Beer Report
If you’re looking for the good stuff at Lumen Field this year, here’s my report. I’ve been told (by someone who knows) that draft beer will be available at just three locations in the stadium. Each of those beer stations will offer three craft beers: Manny’s Pale Ale from Georgetown Brewing, Crickey IPA from Reuben’s Brews, and African Amber from Mack & Jack’s Brewing.
That’s it. Lumen Field Beer report is done. Sounders fans, if you want more detail, let me know and I’ll see what I can do. I’m not sure people care about the beer situation as much as they do at baseball games.
To be fair, there’s probably more to know than that. Also, the public health crisis is going to limit the crowd size at Sounder’s games, at least in the near term, and the concessionaire is responding to the circumstances. As the crowds are allowed to get larger, so will the beer selection.
It’s a different ballgame across the street
There are two primary reasons why I typically don’t do a beer report for Lumen Field, along with some secondary reasons.
First, the Sounders and Seahawks do not host as many home games, so there are not as many thirsty beer drinkers searching for the good stuff. There are 81 Mariners home games each year. Between the Sounders and Seahawks, a year will typically see no more than 30 home games total.
The second reason is a bit more subjective. The beer selection at Lumen Field, formerly Century Link Field, isn’t that impressive. Well, at least not when compared to the ballpark. It’s not for a lack of trying. The beer distributors and our local breweries know that Sounders and Seahawks fans enjoy good beer. I know they try, but it seems more of a battle than it is across the street.
Compare the two websites. Go to the Lumen Field website and you’ll find a section titled Concessions, Food, Drinks & Beer. Under the heading Featured Beer, you’ll read this: “Bud Light is proudly served throughout CenturyLink Field. A variety of domestic, import, microbrews and craft beers from the Pacific Northwest.” That’s it.
Did I mention that the stadium is now called Lumen Field and not CenturyLink Field? Just sayin’.
By contrast, go to the T-Mobile Park website and you’ll see something called Beer Finder, where they list all of the different beers you’ll find at the ballpark and where you’ll find them.
So yeah, I care more about the beer program at T-Mobile Park because the folks at T-Mobile Park care more about the beer program.
Like I said, it’s a different ballgame. I think one of the reasons that the Soccer/Football arena doesn’t lend as much attention to the beer selection is because of the nature of the games played there.
A soccer match is a comparatively short, fast-moving thing. At a Sounders match, you don’t just wander away from your seat for 10 or 15 minutes. You are there to watch every second of the action. And it doesn’t stop.
Football is similar. Although there are breaks in the action, you’re beer hunting and gathering time is fairly limited. Also, in my experience, drinking beer at Seahawks games leads to waiting in impossibly long lines and that is always when Wilson throws a 70-yard bomb to Metcalf.
Next, let’s consider the configuration of the two venues. Safeco Field, as it was originally called, was designed to keep you in touch with the game even when your not in your seat. It’s not that way at Lumen Field, where the stadium is designed differently, and pretty much the only place to view the game is from your seat.
It’s the nature of the games and the stadiums. While baseball invites you to leisurely stroll up to the concourse and wander around looking for your next beer, both football and soccer invite you to prefunction, tailgate, and then go into the arena and dedicate your attention to the game.
In conclusion, I guess what I’m saying is that if Sounders and Seahawks fans really want me to do more research about the beer program at Lumen Field, I will give it a shot. As an equally obsessed fan of the Mariners, Sounders, and Seahawks, I just don’t see the need. Let me know if I’m wrong.