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CenturyLink Field (map it)
800 Occidental Ave S
Seattle, WA 98134
Year Opened: 2002
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.
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".
Inside the field walls you will find a mediocre presentation of highly priced pizza, nacho's and standard food among the none club section. Garlic fries, fish and chips and hot dogs can be located in the general attendee concessions but all and all its pretty cookie cutter. They have yet to impress my guests or me.
Similar to the adjacent Safeco Field the best pre and post game grub is in the Food Truck Pod which sits on the west side of the stadium on Occidental Avenue. Offering everything from Tokyo dogs, kettle corn and brats but for the best taste I would recommend El Camion taco truck, Mexican cuisine, and The Peoples Burger for gourmet hamburgers.
The beer taps inside the stadium are similar to most venues in which you have two choices at each register for drafts, domestic and most locations have a North West beer represented by way of Mannys, Alaskan Amber, Curve Ball or Mack & Jack's. It is much harder to find the selection of beer you would find at the Mariners' Safeco Field, but Elysian Brewery and Pyramid Breweries are within a block. Keeping up with Seattle's conscience persona, gluten free and organic beers can be found, just ask one of the mostly friendly stadium employees where they are located, most likely behind the first level sections on the west sideline.
Rather than me re-use "electric", open up a dictionary and take your pick of any high energy "buzz word". CenturyLink provides energy that I can only imagine the Romans felt approaching the coliseum. Approaching from the north end zone you are introduced to an artistic steel structure showcasing a simplistic clock, to the left and right of the clock you can see directly into the stadium and see the fans preparing for the game.
CenturyLink sits between the up and coming Pioneer Square and industrial blue collar Sodo (South of Downtown). Unless you are interested in seeing Starbucks headquarters I would recommend staying north in Pioneer Square.
This neighborhood is a strong mix of a new foodie Seattle movement, popular Seattle breweries and the Seattle grunge mystic that the music industry has known from the late 80's / early 90's. Just blocks surrounding the stadium you can find music gems like the Showbox Sodo & OK Hotel, which introduced the likes of Mudhoney, Soundgarden and Nirvana. Two blocks from this you will see bistros such as Matt Dillon's Bar Sajor and London Plane where you will be bumping shoulders with employees from Google, Zynga, Facebook and possibly the next three young entrepreneurs to take a company public. If tech or grunge are not your scene, there is also a strong brewpub and early night life crowd which attends the Lodge, Henry's on 1st, Elysian and Cowgirls.
Loud. Sounders and Seahawks fans alike, the passion and atmosphere is apparent from the walk/march to the stadium. Unlike the reputation of teams like the Oakland Raiders and Philadelphia Eagles, Seahawk fans are not aggressive, frightening or unwelcoming; the passion is in support of the teams, which they believe represents the city they live in: hardworking, adaptive, and playing with a chip on their shoulder to create a name for the often forgotten Emerald City. Unless you are in the top 10 rows of the stadium, don't plan on using the green fold-down seats that you've paid for, the fans will be standing, cheering and making sure home field is taken full advantage of.
Just recently after the Guinness World record was broken for loudest noise, opposing league teams have been calling for the NFL to intervene, as the noise generated by the crowd is an "unfair advantage". Again, these are cheers and chants of the fans, not artificially created by the sound systems.
On game days, or major musical events CenturyLink can cause problems with downtown traffic, thankfully it sits along I-5, I-90 and Highway 99, which are not difficult to manage even on game day. You can find parking south of the stadium in the industrial Sodo neighborhood, or along the waterfront northwest of the stadium on Alaskan Way with a short scenic walk to the stadium.
If you are trying to avoid the traffic and would prefer public transportation I would recommend looking at the Seattle Light Rail system, which is a one track, straight shot north and south of the stadium, it is a modern train/trolley system that is very affordable.
Behind Lambeu Field, I would place CenturyLink as the number one NFL stadium where you will get your moneys worth and more. Whether you are rooting for the opposing team or part of the 12th Man, the experience will leave you thinking, "This is what attending a game should feel like". The fans show up rain or shine to cheer on their teams.
I have rated the Food & Beverage and Extras below or at a 3, and I am sticking to that, but the atmosphere and audience that surround you more than makes up for their mediocre scores. The extra values live in energy of the fans and surrounding area of the stadium and I would highly recommend visiting some of the locations I have mentioned.
The extra's can be found in the surrounding streets and views from CenturyLink field, the Olympic Mountains to the west, Cascades to the east, and south sits Mt. Rainer which leaves me in awe each time I see catch a glimpse on a clear day.
Half time shows are often competitions whether youth football or wiener dog races, they usually keep a larger than normal half time crowd in their seats. Depending on the half time routine it might be best to get out of your seats and recharge for the remaining game. The team store is fun to browse if you're looking to get a "Beastmode" t-shirt or Sounders Scarf, but along Occidental Avenue you will find Team Stores for any Seattle gear you might want at lower prices.
Where I would say that Safeco Field provides a 30 second pitch of Seattle, CenturyLink introduces you to the pure passion that Seattle has for its still young city. The stadium isn't a historic staple that generations can currently identify with, that of course ended with the implosion of the Kingdome. But year after year it is playing its part bringing the city back together and establishing new memories for visitors and season fans alike.
To those opposing fans that believe CenturyLink Field provides an advantage for the home teams I say; yes and good luck (sarcasm) getting the NFL and MLS to ask the fans to not cheer as loud.
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."
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