Road Game Travel Tips: Plan to Relax. Easy Does it in the Desert.
Jun 30, 2020, 1:37 PM | Updated: Jul 20, 2020, 11:26 am
Seattle at Arizona, Sunday, October 25, 1:05 p.m. Pacific
SPONSORED – Arizona is where Seattle’s fans first made a national reputation, chanting behind a television set after a Thursday night win during the franchise’s first Super Bowl season.
Arizona is also the site of Seattle’s first tie in franchise history and the place where it suffered its most heart-breaking loss.
It is one of the easiest trips Seattle makes every year, and it is one of the best. A weekend of sunshine in the midst of a Northwest fall, a trip that I’ve been making annually for almost 20 years now.
And one of my favorite memories in that time comes from a Thursday night in 2017 before Seattle went out and played the longest game in franchise history. I met up with Dave Palm before that game. You might know Dave. Or at least know him if you saw him. He’s got an absolutely dashing Mariners’ suit, which he’ll wear to the ballpark. I know him as the guy I kept bumping into at various airports and football stadiums.
That’s because he’s always on the road, too. Ever since the first road game of Russell Wilson’s first season in Seattle, which was played in Arizona. That was the year he earned a Masters in computer science and decided that he was going to attend every one of Seattle’s 16 games in 2012.
“If I was ever going to do it, that was the year,” Palm told me before that Thursday game in Phoenix.
That was the 101st consecutive Seattle game Palm had attended, and run that included flying from Seattle to Atlanta and back in the same 24-hour period. He attended the coldest game in franchise history, which was a playoff game in Minnesota in January 2016. He also attended one of the hottest, which was a Week 2 scorcher in San Diego back in 2014 where it was more than 100 degrees.
It’s been quite a trip for everyone following Wilson and his Seattle teammates, and we’re ready to buckle up again this year!
Arrival: Alaska has multiple flights daily from Sea-Tac to Sky Harbor Airport except on Mondays when it has six. The Phoenix airport is just south and east of downtown Phoenix.
Stadium: The stadium is in Glendale, which is kind of like a Seattle team playing its home games in Tacoma. There’s a great entertainment development right next to the stadium once you get there, but it won’t ever be mistaken for being in downtown Phoenix. Then again, given the sleepy nature of downtown Phoenix, that’s not a terrible thing. If you want to walk to the game, there’s a Renaissance Hotel next to the stadium. But if you really want to get the allure of the desert, choose one of the spas located in the surrounding area. The Camelback Inn is spendy, but worth it. If you’re looking for more nightlife, Scottsdale is your best bet while the more adventurous could consider a trip to Sedona.
Last time here: Sept. 29, 2019. Seattle 27, Arizona 10. Seattle hasn’t lost at Arizona since 2012, which was Russell Wilson’s first regular-season game with Seattle. There was a 6-6 tie mixed in there, but the desert has been downright hospitable for Seattle with seven wins in the team’s last eight visits.
Dining: Carolina’s (1202 East Mojave Street, Phoenix, 602.252.1503) is my favorite place for tacos. It’s more like a cafeteria than a restaurant, located near the airport with homemade tortillas. Tacos Chiwas (1923 East McDowell Road., Phoenix, 602.358.8830) is equally fantastic. Don & Charlies is a classic steakhouse, and before you sneer at that, remember how many from the Midwest spend their winters here. It’s great. (7501 East Camelback Road, Scottsdale, 480.990.0900)