Seattle Thunderbirds Stadium, Kits, Mascot and LogosJuly 29, 2019 - 13:18 PDT
While their long history dates all the way back to 1971, the team that we know as Seattle Thunderbirds officially came into being in 1985. They’ve always enjoyed eventful times on the ice with success and heartbreak coming along in equal measures.
But what do we know about the team away from the roster and their achievements on the ice? Here is our guide to Seattle Thunderbirds 101.
Seattle Thunderbirds Stadium
When the Thunderbirds’ name was first coined in 1985, the team played at Mercer Arena Situated on Fourth Avenue North and first constructed in 1927, it was purposely built as an Ice Arena. Later and while multiple usage was employed, Mercer Arena was a perfect early venue for the Thunderbirds.
In fact, Mercer Arena had been used by the team since 1977 when they moved from Kamloops in British Columbia and became the Seattle Breakers. The link to the club continued until 1994 but by that stage they were splitting their time between Mercer Arena and Seattle Center Coliseum.
Seattle Thunderbirds were about to make an ill-fated move to Key Arena. The venue had been extensively used for basketball and it was to prove far more suitable for the likes of the NBA. The sight lines involved were poor as far as ice hockey was concerned and fans of the side were never truly happy at Key Arena.
By 2009, a solution was available in the shape of the ShoWare Center which remains their home to this day. It’s a little out of town - some 20 miles outside of the city down in Kent but clearly it’s a far more suitable site as it draws in some of the biggest attendances across the WHL.
The ShoWare Center carries other activities and it’s also notable for showcasing indoor football. The Seattle Timberwolves play here as do the Kent Predators while Roller Derby also gets inclusion in the shape of the Rat City Rollergirls.
But it’s ice hockey that is the main focus at the ShoWare and the Seattle Thunderbirds remain the anchor tenant. The arena is perfect for the sport and, with the days of the Key Arena drifting out as a distant memory, it’s hoped that the ShoWare Center will remain home to the Thunderbirds for many years to come.
Seattle Thunderbirds Mascots
The official mascot of the Seattle Thunderbirds is a colorful character known as Cool Bird. Keeping in with the ‘bird’ theme, our feathered friend can be seen at all games, both home and away and, unlike other mascots, he’ll make sure that his jersey changes to match in with the side on the ice.
Cool Bird is also a familiar face around the city and can be frequently seen at corporate events and other occasions around Kent and in the wider Seattle area but we see the best of him at Mascot Night. This is a big occasion for Cool Bird and for the club as a whole and in 2019, Seattle Thunderbirds Mascot Night took place in early March.
This is an occasion where Cool Bird and some of his chums will take to the ice and participate in a game against selected opposition. On March 3, 2019, our favorite bird and his crew took on the Tri City Americans in what was a fun night for all concerned.
He’s a popular character and, in 2017, we got to know the man behind Cool Bird. Todd Kamp had taken the role on for an incredible 20 years and was emotional while appearing on national TV as his retirement was announced. Kamp may be gone but the legend that is Cool Bird rolls on and we expect to see his predecessor maintain the role for many years to come. Other franchises may change their mascot but Cool Bird has been one of the most consistent and recognisable characters anywhere on the ice across North America and that will surely continue.
Seattle Thunderbirds Kits and Logos
The logo used by the Seattle Thunderbirds is unmistakable and it tells us that this club is very proud of its city. The word ‘Seattle’ is emblazoned across the crest and while it’s said to be similar to the badge used by the Seattle Seahawks of the NFL, the use of two hockey sticks to frame it leaves us in no doubt as to the sport being played here.
We also have our resident bird to complete the picture. The image used here relates to a Native American carving of a thunderbird and is also a nod to the proud roots of this team. For those who aren’t aware, the thunderbird is a legendary creature who is a firm part of Native American folklore. In fact, this mythical being controls the upper world so who better to have as an established focal point of a side’s logo?
In terms of their kit, Seattle Thunderbirds play in two different jerseys but their primary colors are white, navy blue and green. The first choice and more recognisable jersey is predominantly white with dark blue and green horizontal stripes running down.
The change shirt is similar but this time, the dark blue is the color that dominates. Stripes are retained but these are in white and green. On each jersey, the stripes appear in the bottom half and, of course, our friend the Thunderbird is very much in evidence. The Seattle Thunderbirds logo is placed front and center on either of the two jerseys and fans will turn up dressed in replica merchandise to cheer their team on at the ShoWare Center and, when they are on the road.
It’s been said that the Seattle Thunderbirds kit is reminiscent of that of the Hartford Whalers. In regards to color, there may be some similarities but the Thunderbirds have unique qualities that make their design stand out. The team and the fans are proud of their colors and of all the aspects that make the Seattle Thunderbirds one of the most popular clubs along the length and breadth of the WHL.