Loyal Seahawks fans tackle the chilly weather

Braving icy roads and long commutes, thousands of Seahawks fans made their way to Qwest Field on Sunday for the team’s last home game of the season.

Even three hours before kickoff, fans gathered near the stadium, many with stories of their snowy trek to downtown Seattle.

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Tom Conners drove from Vancouver, Wash., on Saturday night. It took four hours and he and his companions stayed in a hotel.

“My uncle has season tickets and he gave them to me because he didn’t want to drive in this weather,” Conners said.

Scott and Tammi Johnson drove from Olympia on Sunday morning. It took them nearly twice as long as the usual hour-long trip. They said there weren’t many people on the roads.

Tammi Johnson said they had nervously watched the weather reports Saturday night.

“We thought we were still going, but we weren’t willing to risk our lives,” she said. “Now it’s more of a concern whether we make it back.”

In the reserve parking lot north of Qwest Field, Scott Sutton was standing outside his motor home, cigar in hand. The snow didn’t bother Sutton, who is from the Tri-Cities, where winters tend to be cold and long.

Sutton said nothing was going to keep him away. “Haven’t missed a game day since the stadium opened,” he said.

But he noted that not everyone shared his dedication; the reserve lot wasn’t filling up as fast as it usually does.

Business wasn’t booming for Troy Arnett, who was manning a hot dog stand near the stadium. But it could be worse. “Rain, rain always kills everything,” he said.

Most of the roads around Qwest Field had been plowed before the game.

Inside the stadium, crews removed ice and snow from the entrances and prepared the field and seats.

Sounder Trains expelled hundreds of passengers into King Street Station — most clad in Seahawks gear. Passengers said there were weather-related complications.

The 9:03 a.m. northbound train was stalled for about half an hour, just 300 feet from the station, passengers said.

“When you’re riding with football fans, an unexpected delay can cause problems,” said Jenny Brown, who boarded the train in Auburn. “We had a lot of obnoxious gentlemen on the train.”

“It was getting a little tense on the train,” said Liz Grim, who boarded in Des Moines.