In 1996, Paul G. Allen obtained an option to purchase the Seattle Seahawks and launched a campaign to win public support for a new world-class football/ soccer stadium and exhibition center. Six years later, the dream became reality as the Seahawks opened the 2002 preseason against the Indianapolis Colts in new Seahawks Stadium, renamed Qwest Field on June 2, 2004. After seven seasons, the field was renamed CenturyLink Field on June 23, 2011. The facility, built atop of the site of the Kingdome, is not only home to the Seahawks, but the stadium accommodates many levels of soccer competition, including Major League Soccer, amateur, international, World Cup and collegiate soccer.
CenturyLink Field is designed with a 67,000 seat capacity, with 5,000 additional seats available for special events, and 1,400 seats for fans with disabilities. With a roof covering 70 percent of the seating area, fans will enjoy wide, comfortable seats with sideline seating a mere 52 feet from the playing field and end-zone seats just 40 feet from the action. The facility also features a dozen elevators and expansive concourses with an ample provision of concessions stands and restrooms.
In addition to having perfect views of the field and surrounding areas, fans experience elements of diversity and culture in part of the Stadium Art Program. In 1998, a request for qualifications yielded a total of 254 responses from around the United States and Canada. After reviewing the full range of submissions, 12 artists and projects were selected. Today, the stadium includes nearly $2 million worth of art.
- 67,000 fixed seats – can be expanded to 72,000
- 63 restrooms (799 toilets/364 urinals) – twice as many as the Kingdome
- 1,400 seats for people with disabilities and their companions – compared to 70 at the Kingdome
- 10,000 cubic yards of concrete – equal to a 3’ sidewalk from Seattle to Boise, ID
- 3,756 miles of cable – could reach from Seattle to just beyond the Panama Canal
- Over 800 televisions
- 12 elevators — compared to three at the Kingdome
- 50 Concession stands/47 Beer Concessions – twice as many per person as the Kingdome
- The roof is 760 feet long – the same as three Boeing 747’s parked end-to-end
- The roof is 210,000 square feet – enough to cover 3.5 football fields
- The FieldTurf production used more than 35,000 recycled ground-up tennis shoes and 30,000 recycled ground up tires
- The roof contains 5,700 tons of steel – equal to 35 Statues of Liberty or 1,000 Orca whales
- 100% of the concrete from the Kingdome was processed and recycled (50% built into CenturyLink Field)
- Wide concourses offer outstanding views of the Seattle skyline, Safeco Field, the Cascades and Mt. Rainier, Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains.
- There is a 2,000 car garage – part of 6,500 spaces near CenturyLink Field.
The $430 million facility is owned by the public and was funded by a private-public partnership. Private contributions totaled at least $130 million, while the public contributed up to $300 million through a lottery and a variety of taxes generated by events in the stadium/exhibition center.
A breakdown of the funding package:
- $130 million private investment led by Paul Allen
- $127 million from new, sports related games, similar to the Mariners’ baseball-themed scratch games
- $101 million in sales taxes collected in King County attributable to events in the stadium/event center
- $56 million from facility admission and parking taxes
- $15 million from extending King County’s share of the existing hotel-motel tax
- $1 million per year of in-kind advertising for the new lottery games will be provided by Paul Allen
- All excess stadium revenues will fund youth athletic facilities throughout Wash ington State in addition to a $10 million contribution from Paul Allen
- $14 million of the public contribution will come from interest earned on the $50 million private contribution from Paul Allen
- Paul Allen agreed to pay for any construction cost overruns
- As an added measure, the debt on the Kingdome was retired, freeing property taxes for other purposes
First & Goal Inc.
In June of 1997, Washington State voters approved a funding package to build a new football/soccer stadium and exhibition center. With that, Paul G. Allen and Football Northwest created First & Goal Inc., an entity that represented the interests of CenturyLink Field in the construction of the new stadium and now manage the stadium and event center on a daily basis.
Visit the following links to learn more about CenturyLink Field:
Learn how to get to CenturyLink Field
Learn how to get tickets to an event at CenturyLink Field
Access stadium guides for the Seahawks, Sounders FC and CenturyLink Field
CenturyLink Field facts and figures
Take a tour of CenturyLink Field
Partners and stadium affiliates