CenturyLink Field has been the home of the Seattle Seahawks since 2002, and it has hosted the most successful era of Seahawks history. The team has regularly appeared in the playoffs and has been to two Super Bowls, with one NFL Championship under its belt. It is an open-air stadium in a region where the elements usually would have resulted in a domed structure. Seahawks owner Paul Allen felt very strongly that an open-air stadium could be used to the team’s favor, and he partially helped to fund its construction. This also allows terrific views of downtown Seattle to the north and Mount Rainier to the south on a clear day (which is not often). The unique clam-shaped roof actually covers 70% of the seating area, giving fans some protection from the elements.
The seating capacity for CenturyLink Field is 69,000. This includes 111 suites and more than 7,000 club-level seats. It is one of the few stadiums to offer suites at the field level, as a limited number are found in the northern end of the stadium. One of the other unique architectural elements in the stadium is a 13-story tower at the northern end of the stadium that supports one of the only vertical scoreboards/video screens in the NFL. The seats below this tower are known as “The Hawks Nest”.
The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:
Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
Much like the famed Pike Place Market located just a few miles away; CenturyLink Field offers food and beverages to suit every palate. In addition to the usual stadium food, Seahawk concessions include seafood stands offering crab cakes and salmon sandwiches, Mexican fare, vegan and gluten-free offerings, barbecue and Asian delicacies.
The Brougham Beer Hall is found on the main concourse and carries both domestic and imported beers (Beck's, Budweiser, Coors and O'Doul's) and a wide selection of craft beers (10 Barrel, Alaskan, Alaskan Amber, Boddington's, Elysian, Johnny Appleseed, Rainier and Red Hook).
Here is a sampling of prices to expect: burgers ($8), nachos (($13), pizza ($8), Coca-Cola products ($5), popcorn ($5.50), peanuts ($4.75), clam chowder ($8) and fish 'n chips ($11). On the adult beverage side of things: premium beers ($10), domestic beers ($9), craft beers ($10), and wine ($13).
The atmosphere at a Seattle Seahawks game is distinctly different from other NFL locations, as there is a very Pacific Northwest vibe going on here. First, the fans almost welcome inclement weather, as they feel it gives them an edge in the game over opponents from dry climates or domed facilities. They also tailgate in a very different way, with salmon and Dungeness crab taking the place of brats, hamburgers and hot dogs. Many of the fans arrive at the game via ferry boats which cross Elliott Bay. They truly are a regional franchise, much as the New England or Green Bay organizations, as fans regularly travel from Oregon, Montana, Idaho and even Alaska to cheer on their team.
The experience begins before you even enter CenturyLink Stadium, as pregame activities take place on the plaza in the CenturyLink Field Events Center. This building hosts the Touchdown City festival. A wide variety of Seahawk-related promotions are going on non-stop, including performances by the SeaGals dance team, autograph sessions by former Seahawk players, appearance by Boom and Blitz, the Seahawks' mascots, and many interactive games.
Once in the stadium, you'll be amazed by the views it affords of both downtown Seattle and Mt. Rainier. You will also notice how close to the action the stands are. CenturyLink Stadium has a very small architectural footprint, so that sideline seats have you only 52 feet from the field of play, and the end zone seats are only 40 feet from the playing field. Because of the cantilevered design of the stadium, even seats in the upper level are surprisingly close to the field. Best of all, 70 percent of the seats are protected from the often unpredictable weather by the shell-shaped roof.
Seattle is a city made up of very distinct districts, and CenturyLink Field is located in the SoDo District geographically, as it is south of downtown. It is also referred to as the International District, due to the large Asian business and residential district abutting the stadium. Many of Seattle's greatest attractions are located within a few blocks of the stadium, including Pioneer Square and the Waterfront District.
There are numerous dining and nightclub choices within the SoDo District. These include The Lodge Sports Grille, Quality Athletics and McCoy's Firehouse. The Hawks Nest Bar and Grille is located next door to CenturyLink Field, and is a good choice for a pre or postgame drink.
Hotels in downtown Seattle tend to run in excess of $200 or more during special events. I would suggest staying in one of the less expensive hotels in the suburbs that are located along the Sound Transit light rail line.
The area is served by the Stadium Station of SoundTransit, the area's public transportation agency. Light rail extends as far south as the airport and as far north as the University of Washington.
Seahawks fans are known as the "12th man" or simply the "12s." This term was first made famous by the corps of cadets at Texas A&M, and refers to the fans in the stands as a symbolic extra person on the field through their support of the team. The concept has reached new heights at the professional football level in the Pacific Northwest. Seahawk fans show their unity by wearing the #12 jersey rather than a star player's jersey number, wave "12" towels after any successful play by the home team and have incorporated the raising of the 12 flag over CenturyLink Field by a Seattle celebrity or a former Seahawk player to a pregame ritual.
These fans don't just show their support through a number on their sleeve. They are LOUD -- so loud they have set the record for loudest outdoor stadium noise in the world and been certified by the Guinness Book of World Records for this accomplishment. (Note: The Seahawks and the Kansas City Chiefs have traded this title back and forth on several occasions in recent years. This really can impact the game, as opposing teams have numerous false starts, broken plays, and turnovers simply because they cannot hear the signals.)
Seahawk fans are impossible to miss, as virtually the entire fan base comes decked out in the neon green and blue colors of the team from head to toe. This support of the Seahawks extends far beyond the stadium, as local businesses, schools and institutions have incorporated the "12" theme into their window displays, Friday morning assemblies and "wear the blue and green days" at work. Probably the most unique show of support is when the 12 flag flies above the iconic Space Needle in the years the Seahawks have made the playoffs.
Our FANFARE scale only goes as far as 5, but the fans at CenturyLink Field have certainly have earned their 12.
There are a number of ways to reach CenturyLink Field. It is located at the I-90/I-5 interchange at the southern end of downtown Seattle, and cars are obviously one method of reaching the stadium. However, it is important to know that this interchange is the site of a massive construction project that not only has increased traffic backup, it has also decreased the capacity for parking adjacent to the Seahawks' home. A majority of the spaces next to the stadium are reserved for Seahawks season ticket holders, as well. Non-reserved spaces in the area go for $50 or more.
Seattle offers some unique transportation alternatives for football game days. The first of these is SoundTransit, the local public transportation system. They run shuttle buses from numerous satellite areas and drop you off right in front of the stadium. Seattle also offers a light rail system that runs from Sea-Tac Airport on the Southside to the University of Washington in the northern suburbs. A day pass on the system only costs $6.00 for the roundtrip, and allows you to miss all the traffic and saves you the expense of parking in one of the pricier lots in the downtown area. Simply exit at the Stadium Station, which is a short walk to both Safeco and CenturyLink Fields.
Another uniquely Seattle way to reach the game is via one of the ferries that cross the Puget Sound on a regular basis. CenturyLink Field is located a few blocks south of the Seattle waterfront, which offers plenty of restaurants for a pre or postgame meal. Residents of Seattle are very environmentally-conscious, and walking or bicycling to a game is popular. Seattle has bike-only lanes on most of its streets, and is also very pedestrian-friendly. The stadium has a designated area that is secure with bike racks to handle this form of transportation.
Once inside the stadium, you will find very wide concourses, more than 1,500 seats for persons with disabilities, and over 60 restrooms and 53 concession stands.
Going to a Seahawks game can be an expensive proposition, as the team has a very large season ticket base with a long waiting list. This directly impacts ticket prices and the parking fee charges by area lots. A ticket in the upper deck can cost you more than $100 a game, and parking spaces near the field can cost in excess of $50. The concession prices are high in comparison with prices at other NFL stadiums.
Taking the ferry or SoundTransit can significantly reduce the transportation and parking expenses you will incur (Ferry cost: $20, Light rail cost: $6). Staying in a suburban or airport area hotel can bring your lodging expenses down dramatically. Finally, checking the ticket reseller sites can often bring you a savings on tickets.
The first extra goes to "the 12s." They truly do impact the game with their passion and their noise level. Seattle leads the league in false starts by the opposition, as they simply cannot hear the signals being called. The noise level also causes the visitors to waste timeouts on a frequent basis.
The second extra goes for CenturyLink Field's close proximity to several of Seattle's top tourist and entertainment attractions. Historic Pioneer Square is virtually across the street from the stadium, and the Waterfront District is mere blocks away.
CenturyLink Field gets a third extra for the many other events it hosts throughout the year. It is the home pitch for the Seattle Sounders MLS team, one of the most successful franchises in the league. The stadium also hosts NCAA football games and the championship football games for Washington State High School Association sports.
Numerous mega-concerts have been held at the Home of the 'Hawks. These include the Rolling Stones, U2 and Taylor Swift.
A green "thumbs-up" goes to CenturyLink Field for being environmentally friendly. The field rests on the former site of the Kingdome. When it was demolished, 100% of the concrete was recycled to form a solid base on the waterfront's soft soil for the new stadium. It also has recycling bins placed throughout the concourse. The team ownership is also to be commended for encouraging alternative transportation methods, such as walking, cycling or taking mass transit to games.
Formerly known as Seahawks Stadium and Qwest Field, CenturyLink Field (The Clink) is truly a unique stadium. Opened for the 2002 season and the Seahawks' return to the NFC West, the modern facility boasts first-class amenities and spectacular views.
There are ample tailgate options and local bars and restaurants to provide pre-game entertainment, covered later. The Clink opens two hours before kickoff, but many fans visit the event center known as Touchdown City that is attached to the south end of the stadium. It opens three hours prior to kickoff and shows the early games on four video walls.
Admission to Touchdown City is free and there is an interior entrance to the stadium. There are a variety of entertainment options for adults and children (games, vendor booths, football skill tests, and free face painting). Former players are on hand for autograph sessions and the Sea Gals have appearances as well; they are typically there from 11:30 to noon for a meet and greet and a performance with Blue Thunder. The event center offers a pre-game all-you-can-eat buffet, along with $5 beer specials.
The smell of freshly popped kettle corn is ever-present, as a 53-piece band marches through an alley outside the stadium hours before the game. You stroll by a fan with a lime green Mohawk and a menacing Batman design etched into his navy blue painted face. It is 38 degrees and the first weekend of December, but the man is dressed in a Seahawks jersey and a kilt. He is joined by a cadre of fans sporting a similar look, including one boy who could pass for a fourth grader.
Attending an NFL contest at CenturyLink Field, the eight year old home of the 2005 NFC Champions, provides one of the most unique game day experiences in the league. Panoramic views of the Puget Sound from the west, the Cascade Mountains from the east and the downtown Seattle skyline from the north can be seen from the upper level concourses of the stadium. The stadium contains a Salmon exterior and a 760 foot-long white roof, the equivalent of three Boeing 747's parked end-to-end. Two 260 feet arches hover above the roof to give CenturyLink Field its distinctive shape. Inside, opposing teams are greeted by the "12th man," considered by many to be the most raucous supporters in football.
"We've got the greatest fans in sports," Seahawks coach Jim Mora said. "One thing about Qwest [CenturyLink] is as a football team you really can take advantage of that energy. It's a suffocating experience to come in there and play in front of that crowd. They suck the air out of the place. With our fans what we'd like to do is create an environment where the opposing team doesn't feel safe."
So you think your fans are the absolute loudest? Does the noise meter burst out of the red as if your fans are so loud it can’t be measured? Well cute animations and biased claims aside, the Seattle Seahawk fans are the absolute loudest, not in the NFL, not in the United States, but the loudest in the entire world, and it has been proven. On September 15th, 2013 fans at CenturyLink Field broke the world record for loudest noise level with a recorded 131.9 decibels just topping the previous record of 131.76 decibels, set in March 2011 during a soccer match in Istanbul.
The Seahawks are not the only record holders that call CenturyLink home, the Seattle Sounders of the MLS also previously held a major MLS record and currently sit in second among the list of most attendees to a MLS game.
This multipurpose stadium holds 72,000 people (including standing room) with 70% roof protection, which is convenient in this rainy city. Even though the capacity is among the bottom half of the NFL, the stadium has a great layout, as it was built to open for the 2002 season.
Whether you are attending a Seahawks game, Sounders match or concert this venue is truly electric.
One of the best venues in the league, it just needs some better food options and a bit more history to celebrate. Get there early as gates open 3 hours before the game, and the footprint is quite big despite the relatively small capacity. Fans do like to imbibe though and many near me were quite inebriated by the end of the game. No trouble in the stands at the game I went to though, good fun was had by all and the Hawks clinched first place in the NFC.
If you think your stadium is loud, think again. The minute you walk inside CenturyLink Field, home of the Seattle Seahawks, you can feel the energy reverberating around the stadium. You basically can’t hear yourself think which is why it baffles me that players and teams can play football in such an atmosphere. The fans, or as they call them in Seattle, the 12th Man, are a different breed of fan. They love their Seahawks and will let opposing teams know about that when they step in there. The 12th Man has even set world records for loudest crowd roar at an outdoor stadium. This is quite an experience to witness.
CenturyLink Field opened in the SoDo district of Seattle in 2002 and holds 67,000 fans (72,000 with standing room). The Seahawks also share this venue with their counterparts from the MLS, Seattle Sounders FC.
The Emerald City Supporters create a great atmosphere. The Pyramid is a great place to grab some food before a game. There are also some great hotels in the area if you want to stay over night.
1201 1st Avenue South
Seattle, WA 98134
170 South King Street
Seattle, WA 98104
1518 1st Avenue South
Seattle, WA 98134
542 1st Avenue South
Seattle, WA 98104
1028 1st Ave S
Seattle, WA 98134
166 S King St
Seattle, WA 98104
121 S King St
Seattle, WA 98104
85 Pike St
Seattle, WA 98101
1113 6th Ave
Seattle, WA 98101