The Seattle Seahawks are throwing the 12th Man the biggest super-sized party Seattle has seen since 1979. And they’re picking up the bill.
The Seahawks’ city-issued parade permit includes standard costs for traffic control, said Jeff Reading, Mayor Ed Murray’s spokesman. Costs above that – including a call-out of “every available police officer,” according to a city source – will be paid for by the Seahawks.
How much that will be is a secret, for now. Seattle police don’t disclose costs for big events in advance, for security reasons.
But it’s fair to guess it could be at least $340,000, which was the cost of the parade in Philadelphia after the Phillies won the 2008 World Series, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. The San Francisco Giants’ 2012 World Series parade cost the franchise an estimated $1 million, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. There are surprisingly few stories about the costs of big victory parades.
Seafair CEO Beth Knox, who is helping the city coordinate the parade, declined to say how much the annual Torchlight parade, which draws 150,000 spectators, costs. “We already have the playbook” for producing a big parade, she said.
Wednesday’s parade is expected to attract a crowd of at least 300,000. That’s how many people turned out for the 1979 Seattle SuperSonics victory parade, according to an archived Seattle Times story.
Police Lt. Roy Wedlund, who has been estimating crowd sizes for 18 years, said simply, “It blew my mind. I’ve never seen a crowd this size.”
The Seahawks can clearly afford it. The franchise was worth an estimated $1.08 billion last year, and owner Paul Allen is by far the wealthiest in the elite club of NFL owners, according to Forbes. That value should rise after this year’s Super Bowl win (the Baltimore Ravens’ value jumped 6 percent after the 2013 win), in part because of the merchandise spin-off.
Thanks to the Seahawks for throwing us a party. I’ll be the guy on 4th Avenue in Belltown with some very excited kids skipping school, looking like the boy at right.