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.
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Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
CenturyLink Field offers your standard fare you would see at any stadium across the country with your basic hot dog, popcorn, soda, peanuts, etc. Hot dogs are around $6 and you can get a bottle of Coke for $5. They are very strict about bottles because they take the cap off of each bottle as they sell it to you the fan. The food is above average and fairly good for it being just a stadium.
In the club seats (200 section), you can find some specialty food items that will be appealing to many. For $12, you can buy yourself a "Beast Burger" named after Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch. On this burger you get 2 patties, 2 pieces of cheese, ham, bacon, and an onion ring plus waffle fries and a bag of Skittles to go along. It is quite the burger and I can tell you that from experience. Along with that monstrosity of a burger, there are many other options. Specialty desserts, wok, and Ivar's fish and chips or chowder are just a few of the many specialty food items.
With regards to lines, if you pick the right times to go to the concessions you will have no problem. If you decide to go at halftime, the wait might be a bit more than you were hoping for. I would suggest going between quarters or before the game. In addition, outside food and drink aren't allowed into the stadium.
I have never been to a stadium with an atmosphere quite like CenturyLink Field in Seattle. Before you walk into the stadium, you can feel the energy that the fans bring to the stadium hours before the game. Because it is in the SoDo district and just south of downtown, you have a great view of the skyline if your seat gives you a view of it. It makes for picturesque scenery on almost any game day.
In terms of weather, the stadium is 70% under cover. The only parts that aren't covered are the Hawks' Nest, the 100 level and parts of the upper deck towards the corners. Because it is Seattle and it does rain, this is good to keep in mind. Also, if it is a sunny day at the game, the visitor's side of the field (west sideline) is illuminated in sunlight. When entering the stadium, any gate will work. But, the easiest access is from the north gate or northwest gate, which makes it easier to go to either side of the stadium or access to the upper deck.
With regards to seating, every seat in the stadium is chairback (and comfortable might I add) with a cup holder in front of you except if you are sitting in the Hawks' Nest, which is bleacher seating.
While in your seat, you are very close to the action. The field isn't more than 20 feet or less away from the playing surface, which allows you an up close and personal feel to the game. In order to see the 50-yard line logo right side up, sitting on the east side of the stadium (home sideline) is where you'll want to find tickets.
In all honesty, I think almost any seat in a stadium is great. I sat at about the 10-yard line in section 239 and I thought they were great seats. I for one would stay away from the Hawks' Nest when looking for tickets. It isn't very close to the better concessions and is a lot farther away from the field, but it does give you a good Hawks' eye view from behind the end zone if you like that. The Seahawks enter the field from the southwest corner while the visitors enter from the southeast.
The scoreboards in this stadium aren't my favorite. There are only two places to see the score, down, and yard line and those are two ribbon boards that stretch about 15 yards at mid-field hanging from the second deck. The big screens are located behind each end zone with one being vertical and the other being horizontal which can make for awkward shots of live action or replays. There are also very informative stat boards in each corner of the stadium. The PA announcer is very easy to listen to and blends in with the stadium perfectly and interacts with the crowd by saying "that's another Seahawks..." and followed by the crowd, "FIRST DOWN." It is quite the atmosphere.
The surrounding areas of CenturyLink Field couldn't fit Seattle any better. The stadium is located in the SoDo district of Seattle, which is just south of Pioneer Square in Downtown Seattle. There is plenty of parking around the stadium and because it is next to Safeco Field, home of the Mariners, this part of town has plenty of parking. Depending on where you are staying in the city, it could be an easy walk. Parking is usually pretty expensive so I would recommend a bus, taxi, etc. if you don't want to deal with paying for parking. If you plan on walking there is no issue with that at all and it might be kind of fun to walk through that part of Seattle on a game day because it is such a unique experience.
If you are looking to grab a bite to eat before you head in, there are plenty of options. On the west side of the stadium, there is a street lined with hot dog stands and sometimes some other good game day foods. This is definitely the best place to go if you want something along the lines of that. If you want a good bar type atmosphere, there is FX McRory's, which is just across the street and about a block to the northwest of the stadium. This is a landmark spot for pregame.
This section doesn't need much explaining because the 12th Man, as they call themselves in Seattle, are some of the loudest fans in the world. It's not just that they are loud, but they are super knowledgeable about their Seahawks and the game of football. They can get pretty rowdy and by the end of it, your ears will be ringing for a little while. I wouldn't say Seahawks fans are welcoming to visiting fans, but they aren't vicious by any means.
One tradition that distinguishes Seahawks fans from the rest is the one that they really get behind and tout as their own. Before kickoff of every game, the Seahawks find a local celebrity or former player to raise the 12th Man flag. This is one of the coolest parts of the game and it really gets the fans riled up and ready for the game.
CenturyLink Field is located in the SoDo district of Seattle and it is truly in a good spot. Before CenturyLink was on this spot, it was the home of the Kingdome, which housed the Mariners and Seahawks until it was demolished. Being located in Downtown Seattle makes for easy access from just about anywhere. There are buses, light rails and trains that will drop you off right near the stadium.
If you plan on parking, there are lots all around the stadium that are all basically the same price. They will cost anywhere from $45-$60 depending on where you park. Lots are everywhere so there shouldn't be too much of an issue finding parking.
If you take the bus, they drop you off just above King Street Station, which is about a 5-minute walk from the stadium. By taking the light rail (Sound Transit) to the game, you will be dropped off at the train station, which is basically in the parking lot of the stadium.
When you get to the stadium and are ready to go in, the lines can be very long if you wait until right before game time to enter. They have to check your clear bag and then they "wand" you before entering the stadium. If you go in early enough, this should take less than 5 minutes.
Once inside, walking around the stadium can be a little confusing. To get to different parts, especially the 100 level, can be tricky if you have tickets in the west part of the stadium. The west side of the stadium is much trickier to navigate than the east side but it surely isn't rocket science. The bathrooms are just normal bathrooms and there are plenty of them around the concourses. Walking around the concourses is very easy as they are pretty roomy. The concourses however don't have a view of the playing field.
If you are a fan of football in general, this is a destination that is a must visit. The only reason I didn't give this 5 stars was because of the price of admission. Ticket prices are very expensive at CenturyLink Field and that may turn some people off. But, this stadium has nearly everything you would want to experience at an NFL game. When you leave the stadium, the 12th Man will have impacted you in a way that most other fans would have never come close to.
With regards to things around the stadium that don't necessarily pertain to the game, there are plenty. In the west rafters, you can find the championship banners from Super Bowl 48 and the other NFC division and conference championships they have won. Lining the second deck of the east side, you can find the ring of honor with the members' names, number and years played on display. If you are looking to purchase some attire at the game, there are booths located around the stadium, but the main team store is located on the 100 level of the west concourse.
During pregame in the CenturyLink Events Center, which is connected to the stadium, they have a pregame activities area where they have food, games, drinks, and other festivities to get you ready for the game. This is a stadium that has some extras just hidden around the stadium so if time allows you might want to check out as much as you can. The view of Downtown Seattle on a nice afternoon also isn't too bad either.
This is quite a stadium. From the fans to the team to the atmosphere, everything about this stadium and how the city and fans embrace the Seahawks is truly something unique to Seattle. If you are in town before a game or on the weekend of one, you will definitely know that something big is going on on that Sunday. Even if you aren't a very big football fan, I still recommend checking out CenturyLink Field.
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.
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