Seattle Storm celebrate title with festive parade and rally

Breanna Stewart and Crystal Langhorne pose for a picture. Neil Enns/Storm Photos.
Breanna Stewart and Crystal Langhorne pose for a picture during the Championship parade. Neil Enns/Storm Photos.

Seattle – Thousands of Seattle Storm fans turned a parade and rally to celebrate the team’s third WNBA Championship win into a raucous love fest Sunday.

Onlookers stood four deep alongside a mile-long parade route as players greeted them, snapped photos and took turns holding the Championship trophy. KeyArena was half-filled with about 4,000 fans for an acknowledgement that the team didn’t get when they beat the Washington Mystics last week, in Washington D.C., for the crown.

During the rally, each player addressed fans. Sixteen-year veteran Sue Bird announced she would return for a 17th season in 2019. Later, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan declared that the street in front of the arena would be renamed Seattle Storm Way.

The proceedings culminated with a confetti drop and the release of balloons. Of the three WNBA Championships the Storm have won, only one – in 2004 – was at home.

Sunny skies prevailed for the parade, save for a brief shower when the team arrived at the Arena.

The day started for the team with the raising of the Storm flag atop the city’s famous Space Needle. Players each pulled the flag up a few notches, ending with regular-season and Finals MVP Breanna Stewart, and then Bird for the final pull.