CenturyLink Field – Seattle Seahawks
The Home Of The 12’s
Nestled into Seattle’s SODO District and next to Safeco Field is CenturyLink Field, Home of the Seattle Seahawks. This 69,000 seat stadium is not only home to the Seahawks, but the Seattle Sounders of the MLS. For Seahawks games, this is easily on of the best fan experiences in the NFL today. Being a part of the 12s (that’s what the fans are aptly named) is an experience in of itself. Hold on, because CenturyLink Field is one wild ride.
Food & Beverage 5
CenturyLink Field has upped its game over the past few years in the Food and Beverage aspect of the stadium. The Seahawks and First Goal, Inc. introduced First and Goal Hospitality (FGH) as part of the effort to continually enhance the game day experience at CenturyLink Field, CenturyLink Field Event Center and the WaMu Theater. FGH manages and operates all general concession stands and premium dining at Seahawks games.
Two new things that caught my eye at CenturyLink Field were the Stadium Street Market and the Night Market. These two areas, located on the main concourse, offer rotating local chefs at each game. The local chefs bring their flair from their local restaurants to the game day experience at the stadium and being that it is Seattle, a lot of the local options include fish.
Two more concession stands are local as well, those two are Seattle Dogs and Great State Burger. Both offer the Seattle Dog, this hot dog appeared to have a mountain of cheese and onions on it. Great State Burger offers a single or double patty burger with cheese, tomato, lettuce, pickles, and its signature state sauce. A single patty will run you $9 and the double patty is $11.
Obviously, CenturyLink Field offers the usual food you will find throughout the stadium as well. You can also find many local craft beers as well especially from Elysian Brewing, a local Seattle favorite. The stands all accept major credit/debit cards as well as cash. FGH and the Seahawks also added more options on the upper level concourse for this season so fans are pretty evenly distributed on the main level concourse and upper level concourse during halftime and before games.
The atmosphere inside CenturyLink Field is second to none. If you are looking for a true NFL game day experience, this is the place to go.
CenturyLink Field is designed in a very unique way. It is a U-shaped design that covers 70% of the stadium and leaves the field open to the elements. The North side of the stadium offers picturesque views of the Downtown Seattle skyline. The South side of the stadium offers views of the SODO District and neighboring retractable roof Safeco Field, the home of the Seattle Mariners.
The stadium features an almost 360 degree LED that includes two caption windows and shows the score, down and distance, quarter, and time. The North side features a huge tower that was designed to fit in with the downtown skyline. The tower features a vertical video screen which is the first of its kind. Also part of the tower complex is the 3,000 bleacher seating Hawks Nest.
The South side of the stadium features a huge video screen. All the video screens throughout CenturyLink Field were converted to 1080p HD for the 2017 season. Also on the South side of the stadium is the Toyota Fan Deck. This was constructed back in 2015 and also houses the new 12 flag platform. It also came with 1,000 new seats which put the stadium capacity up to 69,000 plus.
Before and during the game, you can catch all sorts of fan interaction with the Seahawks mascot, Blitz, the SeaGals, and the Seahawks marching band, Blue Thunder. When the Seahawks defense hits the field, different music is played to get the crowd ready to bring the noise that is unique to CenturyLink Field.
The North and South side seating areas are open air so be prepared to be a part of the elements of mother nature. If you are looking to sit in the covered area, try the sections on the East and West sides of the stadium. There really is not a bad seat inside of CenturyLink Field. Take your pick and be a part of the 12s.
CenturyLink Field is located in Seattle’s SODO District. Largely an industrial area, there are plenty of hang out spots for pregame drinks and/or food.
Fans can hang out at the Pyramid Alehouse which is located just a block away across the street from Safeco Field or at Elysian Brewing which is located just across from the North Plaza on the West Side of the stadium.
I also would recommend the Yard House in Downtown Seattle as a hang out before and after the game. Just a short light rail or bus ride away from CenturyLink Field, you can enjoy an upscale bar and grill experience as well as 110+ beers on tap.
Downtown Seattle offers many lodging options, but if you are looking for somewhere maybe outside of the city itself, just a few miles south of Downtown Seattle is Renton and they have a hotel called the Larkspur Landing Hotel that would be perfect for someone looking for something outside of the busy downtown area.
The Seahawks boast one of the most passionate fan bases in the entire NFL. Aptly named the 12s (formerly the 12th Man), this often loud and rowdy group helps the Seahawks own one of the best home field advantages in the NFL, if not the best.
The Seahawks fan base sells out CenturyLink Field each and every week it has a home game. These fans are known to make the Earth shake at times. This is an intimidating crowd if you are a visiting fan and can be intimidating even as a fan of the Seahawks, but you will always be welcome amongst the 12s on game day.
CenturyLink Field is located in Seattle’s SODO District right at the I-90/I-5 interchange and is also located near trains and public transportation including buses and the Link Light Rail.
Public transit is the preferred way to get to a Seahawks game as parking is limited around the stadium and usually runs anywhere from $40-$100+. Depending on where you are at will determine your mode of transportation. Seattle offers many bus lines that connect from the surrounding areas to CenturyLink Field. The Link Light Rail is also an option. It runs as far south as SeaTac including a stop at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and the furthest north is a stop at the University of Washington at Husky Stadium. To access CenturyLink Field, you can either get off at the Stadium Station or International District/Chinatown Station. My recommendation is International District/Chinatown Station as it is a much closer walk to the stadium. Seattle also offers the Sounder Train if you are coming from the North or the South.
You can drive in, but be prepared for a lot of game day traffic. The North Lot at CenturyLink Field and the CenturyLink Field Parking Garage are reserved for season ticket holders and employees. Parking lots around the stadium can range from $40-$100+ so my recommendation is to take public transportation instead of your own vehicle.
CenturyLink Field has implemented the NFL’s Clear Bag Policy and it is strictly enforced. Make sure you have an NFL approved bag before attempting to enter the stadium. Metal Detectors are at every entrance to CenturyLink Field so be prepared for that. Once inside, moving around the concourses and the stadium is an absolute breeze. CenturyLink Field was designed with very large concourses.
The Seahawks increased the number of toilet fixtures this season. They added 79 additional fixtures in the men’s and women’s restrooms in the upper level for the 2017 season.
Return on Investment 3
If you can make it to game at CenturyLink Field then your return on investment will be well worth the trip. The hard part with this is finding tickets for a decent price. Prices on the secondary markets (including the NFL ticket exchange) can start at $150 for what would be considered a cheap seat and I have seen tickets sell for well over $500 in some areas of the stadium. If you can manage to find a cheap one then your return on investment will be well worth the trip to enjoy a Seahawks game.
One extra point for the State of Football mural on the main level concourse. This mural has helmets for every high school football team throughout the State of Washington.
Another extra point for the Seahawks having the retired numbers as well as the banners, including the 2013 Super Bowl Champions banner, hanging from the rafters of CenturyLink Field.
One more point for the multitude of team stores located throughout the concourses and of course, the main Pro Shop, which has both Seahawks and Sounders merchandise on sale, on the main level concourse.
One last point for Touchdown City. The Seahawks open up the CenturyLink Field Events Center to all fans three hours before kickoff. Anybody can come in from off the street and enjoy food and beverages, live music, multiple TV’s to watch the games going on before the Seahawks games, and much more. This stays open throughout the game for fans that cannot necessarily get into the stadium.
CenturyLink Field is an absolute marvel. To be a part of the 12s on game day is a fan experience that is second to none. The Seahawks have made many strides to make the fan experience at CenturyLink Field the best in the NFL. The noise level is easily the loudest in the NFL as these fans do not have to be prompted to make some noise for their Seahawks. If you can make it here for a game, you will definitely enjoy yourself and you will enjoy being a part of the 12s.
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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.