Thousands of fans expected in downtown Seattle Tuesday for Sounders parade and rally

SEATTLE -- Sounders fans are gearing up for a big victory celebration Tuesday, expected to attract thousands of people to downtown Seattle.

The city has activated its Emergency Operations Center, and the Seattle Police Department said it's staking steps to make sure everyone is safe.

Seattle police say they’ve been preparing for a parade since the Sounders made the playoffs weeks ago. Organizers said it’s hard to guess how many people will show up to Tuesday’s parade and rally, but they’re preparing for what could be up to 20,000 people.

Since the last kick that sealed the Sounders' first MLS Cup victory, the celebrating hasn’t stopped in Seattle.

From the Sounders' homecoming event at Boeing Field Sunday night to MLS championship merchandise flying off shelves at the pro shop Monday, fans are getting ready for a big party.

“I think it’s just fabulous; this soccer team has really done a lot to promote soccer amongst youngsters and everyone and it’s sure great having another championship in Seattle,” said Sabine Birlenbach, a Sounders fan.

It’s why the Seattle Department of Transportation and Seattle police are working together to ensure people have fun at the parade and drivers can navigate traffic during the closures.

SDOT says it will be closing roads in increments beginning Tuesday morning.

Beginning at 9 a.m.: Pine Street will close from 5th Avenue to 4th Avenue and then 4th through 3rd Avenue. 4th stays open. This is so parade participants can stage.

Starting at 10 a.m.:  4th Avnue. closes from Pine Street to Olive to the north in preparation of the parade.

The parade begins at 11 a.m.: 4th Avenue closes from Olive Way North to Seattle Center.

“We just want to remind folks out there to plan ahead and pack some patience and it’s going to be chilly out so dress for the weather,” said Seattle Department of Transportation spokesman Norm Mah.

Seattle police will have extra hands on deck to monitor safety and direct traffic.

“We’re bringing in people from our traffic section, we’ll have multiple bike squads on the parade route to make sure that as the parade moves, it limits the inconvenience to those who aren’t participating,” said Police Sgt. Sean Whitcomb.

Because if the Seahawks parade after winning the Super Bowl in 2014 is any indication of what we’ll see come Tuesday, Seattle police say they have just the experience they need.

“We expect this to be a big event; I’m not sure we expect it to be as big as the Seahawks parade, but we’re doing a lot of the same things that we did in preparation that we did for the Seahawks Parade and that is coordination, communication with all the city agencies,” said Whitcomb.

The King County Health Department is warning those heading to the parade or rally to bundle up: