Only about a mile away from Seattle’s business district, CenturyLink Field is home to the Seattle Seahawks, who started playing at this venue in 2002 after spending 23 years at the notorious Kingdome. After the owner threatened to move if the team didn’t move out of the Kingdome, Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft, took leadership of the situation, spurring a public vote to determine whether or not the project should go ahead. After a battle between pro and anti-stadium advocates, the vote was incredibly close, with 820,364 people voting for the proposal and 783,584 against – a bare majority of 51.1%.
The cost to build the new stadium was $430 million, with the public paying at most $300 million, covered by lottery games, taxes and other initiatives that created the necessary revenue. Impressed by his experiences attending games at Husky Stadium of the University of Washington, Allen wanted to recreate the electric atmosphere he witnessed in college.
This venue was formerly known as Qwest Field, until the company was taken over by CenturyLink, which also assumed the naming rights to the field, which were negotiated for $75 million during the span of 15 years.
Seattle Seahawks Stadium
CenturyLink Field is probably the most difficult stadium for opposing teams to enter in the NFL. Fans attending the game have set the prior record for the loudest crowd on earth, which generated 137.6 dB of noise against the Saints on December 2nd, 2013. This record was bested by the fans at Arrowhead Stadium, who generated 142.2 decibels, according to Guinness World Records. During the decade spanning 2002 and 2012, there have been 143 penalties for false-start by the visiting team, second only to the Minnesota Vikings. The Seahawks honor their fans as the true twelfth man on the field by raising a giant number 12 flag and referring to CenturyLink Field as the “Home of the 12th Man”.
The Seahawks have fielded superb teams loaded with top offensive and defensive talent between 2012 and 2014, managing to win their first-ever Super Bowl in 2013 by completely destroying the Denver Broncos by a score of 43-8. During these three years, they only lost two games at home, including a perfect 8-0 in 2012. Over the past five years, their home record was 31-9, which is a .775 winning percentage.
Incredibly, the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network has recorded seismic activity generated by the fans at CenturyLink Field, with the biggest quake called the “Dance Quake”, when Marshawn Lynch popped off for a TD and a two-point convert, causing the fans to jump up and down in rapture.
Date Opened: July 28th, 2002
Construction Cost: $430 million
Architect: LMN Architects; Ellerbe Becket; LMN Architects
Capacity Attendance: 72,000
Playing Surface: FieldTurf Revolution
Previous Seattle Seahawks Stadiums
The Kingdome; Husky Stadium
Other Major Events
This stadium has hosted a variety of big games for college teams in the state, including the 2005 season opener of the Washington Huskies, as well as their match in the 2011 Apple Cup, which was moved to CenturyLink due to renovations at Husky Stadium.
MLS soccer takes place at “the Clink”, hosting the home games of the Seattle Sounders FC. Despite the fact that much of the stands were initially closed off, the team has consistently set MLS standards for the highest average attendance on a yearly basis.