As the crown jewel of the Pacific Northwest, Seattle, Washington is a must-visit destination for domestic tourists. You have likely heard about the Pike Place Market, the world-renowned fish market just off the Pacific Ocean. The SODO (South of Downtown) district is renowned for local attractions. Or you may find yourself in Pioneer Square with its vast selection of restaurants and hotels.
But no trip to Seattle is complete without making a visit at the huge dome structure just south of downtown. CenturyLink Field, home of the NFL Seattle Seahawks and the Seattle Sounders mens’ and womens’ soccer teams, is the major sports attraction in the region.
Built in 2002, the structure was originally known as Seahawks Stadium. Its name subsequently changed to Qwest Field when the giant communication company purchased the naming rights. Finally in 2011, the team changed to its current name after the CenturyLink telecommunications company bought Qwest.
In terms of name changes, CenturyLink is only average among other sports facilities. In terms of duration, the building has a long time to go before catching the oldest, corporate-named sports area. This title goes to Wrigley Field, in Chicago. Built in 1916, the ballpark was renamed when the chewing gum magnate, William Wrigley, purchased the field in 1926.
The construction of what is now known as CenturyLink Field only occurred after a long fight with municipal, county, and state government involvement as well as assurances from the NFL and team ownership. Actual building could not be started until the former building called the Kingdome was demolished. The current location of CenturyLink Field is quite similar to the previous location of the Kingdome which was destroyed in a spectacular fashion (see video below).
As far as its main tenant, the Seattle Seahawks have quite a following throughout the northwest. This past September, their dedicated fans succeeded in putting the Field in the Guinness World Record Book for creating the most noise in an outdoor sports facility: 131.9 decibels! It was no doubt packed to its brim with fans who are highly passionate about the sport, and the Seahawks.
The listed seating capacity for CenturyLink Field is 67,00 with a total of 72,000 fans allowed into the venue when standing room only sections and luxury boxes are filled. Large diversity in price and location make it difficult to describe the various seating areas available at CenturyLink Field for a Seattle Seahawks game. More details are available by seeing an official seating chart for CenturyLink Field.
Pre-game: If you enjoy tailgate parties, you won’t be disappointed. The crowd is friendly as can be. You can also go to Touchdown City, an event center located at the south end of the stadium, opening three hours before kick-off. Touchdown City has games, vendors, four video walls showing previous games, a buffet (check times), and autograph opportunities with former players. It also has a stadium entrance.
What’s this about 12th Man? Considering that eleven players for a given team are allowed on the field, the 12th is, well, the fans in the stadium. They affect the game, primarily in two ways. The home team gets the psychological boost of all of those yelling, supportive fans, rooting for their favorite team. The opposing team gets the adverse effect of the noise when trying to carry out their plays, and the knowledge that the excessive noise is aimed at them by fans who don’t want them to win.
Even if you can’t visit the field for an actual NFL game, stadium tours are a fun experience during the off-season. Just ask any fan who has taken one, who has seen and experienced the behind-the-scenes areas. The CenturyLink Field tour includes the Suite and Club level, the 12th Man Flag Pole, and a walk onto the field—check out the Field Turf. The tour lasts an hour and a half and starts in the Seahawks Pro Shop. Tickets are $7, with discounts for certain age groups.
By Nolan Kido
This article has been written by Nolan Kido. Nolan is a sports fan who lives in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Photo Credit: Wikipedia