Downtown Seattle is a place for experiences you can’t get anywhere else. It is the vibrant center of our area’s arts and culture scene and the regional hub for conventions, cruises and hospitality. Downtown is home to the area’s major professional sports teams, entertainment venues and world-renowned destinations. These attractions and organizations were hit hard by pandemic travel restrictions and social-distancing protocols.
Thanks to the perseverance of local businesses and nonprofits, and downtown’s unparalleled natural beauty, we are welcoming the return of locals and visitors to our urban core. In 2021, downtown had 8.3 million unique visitors — a strong improvement over 2020 and approaching three-quarters of 2019’s visitor total.
Return of in-person Events
Downtown is unique compared to our peers, boasting three major sports venues: T-Mobile Park, Lumen Field and the new Climate Pledge Arena, home to the Seattle Kraken and the Seattle Storm. In 2021, it was announced that downtown Seattle will host the 2023 MLB All-Star Game at T-Mobile Park. Based on data from the past decade, the All-Star game is expected to bring an economic impact of more than $80 million to Seattle.
In addition to sports and entertainment, downtown’s vibrant arts and culture scene returned to center stage in 2021. The Seattle Symphony performed at Benaroya Hall, and McCaw Hall hosted 37 in-person performances of Pacific Northwest Ballet’s The Nutcracker. As 2022 begins, downtown is set for even more excitement as The 5th Avenue Theatre, ACT Theatre and other arts organizations kick off new seasons.
DSA research conducted in fall 2021 indicates that a growing number of regional visitors are looking for arts and cultural activities and special events to draw them back downtown. As more venues reopen, visitors have a growing number of reasons to return to the center city.