Tower will mark Seahawks' new stadium
by David Schaefer
Seattle Times staff reporter
Friday, May 22, 1998
A 12- to 13-story tower - with a scoreboard at the top and bleacher seating for up to 3,000 fans in its base - is the focal point in the latest design for a new Seattle Qwest Field.
Architects for Seahawk owner Paul Allen yesterday presented the latest evolution of the developing plan at a meeting of the Public Stadium Authority, which will own the stadium.
Architects from Ellerbe Beckett of Kansas City said the 130-foot tower at the stadium entrance from Pioneer Square would complement Smith Tower and the clock tower of King Street Station.
The stadium is part of a $425 million complex that includes an exhibition hall and parking garage. Construction of the hall and garage are to begin in September, with work on the stadium beginning in April 2000. It is to be ready for the 2002 football season.
Although early stadium plans called for 72,000 seats, Bob Collier, Allen's project manager, said it will be built with 67,000 permanent seats. An additional 5,000 temporary seats could be brought in as needed, he said.
The National Football League requires a seating capacity of 72,000 for stadiums hosting a Super Bowl, but 67,000 should be enough most of the time, Collier said.
Fewer permanent seats may make it easier to televise Seahawk home games, which must be sold out, under NFL rules, before local TV broadcast is allowed, he noted.
Collier said the number of restrooms would be equivalent to the number in a 72,000-seat stadium.
The $400 million football/soccer stadium and exhibition center will be owned by the public and funded by a private-public partnership. Private contributions will total at least $100 million, while the public will contribute up to $300 million through a new lottery and a variety of taxes generated by events in the stadium/exhibition center.
|Exhibition center groundbreaking/construction start
|Exhibition center/garage completed
|Demolition of Kingdome starts
||January 15, 2000*|
|Stadium construction starts
||July 31, 2002|
|First Seahawks game played in new stadium
|* Note: four to five month total process. Construction on new facility can begin part way through the demolition process.|
Here's what the financing package includes:
* $100 million private investment led by Paul G. Allen. Allen has also purchased the Seahawks for $200 million.
* $127 million from new, sports related lottery games, similar to the Mariners baseball-themed scratch games.
* $101 million in sales taxes collected in King County attributable to events in the Stadium/ Exhibition Center.
* $56 million on facility admissions and parking taxes.
* $15 million by extending King Countys share of the existing hotel-motel tax.
* $1 million per year of in-kind advertising for the new lottery games will be provided by Mr. Allen.
* All excess stadium revenues will fund youth athletic facilities throughout the state in addition to a $10 million contribution from Paul G. Allen.
* $14 million of the public contribution will come from interest earned on the $50 million private contribution from Paul G. Allen.
* Mr. Allen has also agreed to pay for any construction cost overruns.
* As an added measure, the debt on the Kingdome will be retired, freeing property taxes for other purposes.
For immediate release
January 23, 1998
Contact: Stuart Smith,
Director of Communications at Ellerbe Becket
Ellerbe Becket to Design Qwest Field & Exhibition Center
Kansas City, Mo. - First & Goal Inc. has chosen Ellerbe Becket to design the new, state-of-the-art Seattle Qwest Field & Exhibition Center. First & Goal is the organization managing the Seahawks' owner Paul G. Allen's interest in the new facility for the team.
The Seahawks, who currently play in the Seattle King Dome, will make the move to the expansive $425 million facility in 2002. The stadium is to include 72,000 seats; 10,000 club seats; 100 sideline suites; and 16 field-level suites that will offer a breathtaking view of the downtown Seattle skyline. The roof will be designed so that 70 percent of the seats will be protected from the elements, while leaving the natural grass playing field exposed. In addition, the 325,000-square-foot Exhibition Center will provide an extraordinary stage for consumer shows and community events, as well as pre-and-post-game events. The Center will bring a completely new dimension to the traditional NFL experience. Completion date is scheduled for 1999.
David M. Murphy, vice president and project director; and James Poulson, design principal for the Kansas City Ellerbe Becket office will design the Seattle Qwest Field & Exhibition Center. Their expertise
and Ellerbe Becket's experience designing the Rose Garden - also developed by the Paul Allen Group - was instrumental in winning the Seahawks contract. The Rose Garden is the home of the NBA's Portland Trailblazers.
"We worked as a team with Ellerbe Becket on the Rose Garden," said Bob Collier, senior project manager for Football Northwest. "It was a very successful project, and the fact that Ellerbe worked well with the contractors, completed the project on time and within budget played an important role in building the working relationship for the Seahawks
project. I'm sure that it, too, will be a world-class sports facility."
Murphy's international sports experience includes the 1996 Olympic Stadium/Turner Field in Atlanta; Bank One Ballpark, home of the Arizona Diamondbacks in Phoenix; and Oriole Ballpark at Camden Yards in Baltimore. Poulson has been involved with the Rose Garden; the new Indiana Fieldhouse, which is the future home of the Indianapolis Pacers; and Core States Center, home of the NBA Philadelphia 76ers and the NHL Philadelphia Flyers.
Ellerbe Becket has been involved with the Seahawks project for some time, and assisted in the public involvement campaign to win voter approval for the new sports complex, which is adjacent to Pioneer Square, a commercial and residential district and major transportation center for Seattle. This location is expected to ensure the sports complex's success.
"I'm particularly excited about this project because we have so much to work with, Murphy said." "This will be one of the premier urban entertainment complexes in the United States."
An innovator since its founding in 1909, Ellerbe Becket provides integrated architecture, engineering and construction services from 12 office locations worldwide.
THE ULTIMATE SPORTS ROAD TRIP
By: Andrew Kulyk & Peter Farrell
October 14, 2002 - The new home of the Seattle Seahawks is aptly named Seahawks Stadium, a $535 million publicly funded venue opened this past August, and with its design, architecture, location and fan amenities takes its rightful place among the great new venues in the NFL. The stadium is located in a prominent location downtown, and is immediately adjacent to Safeco Field, home of the Seattle Mariners. When traveling along interstate 5 one can't help but notice these two imposing structures and the dramatic impact they make to the already striking Seattle skyline.
|Qwest Field Ranking by USRT|
|Fan Support|| 4|
|Concourses/Fan Comfort|| 9|
|Bonus: Tailgate Scene|| 1|
|Bonus: Vertical Video Board|| 1|
|Bonus: Sharpie Incident|| 1|
|Bonus: Pre-Game Party|| 1|
|Total Score|| 73|
Getting to the Venue.
Driving to the stadium from all points seems simple enough... just take I-5 and follow the signs. But life here is not that simple, for being right downtown, automobile parking is at a real premium, so one needs a strategy before venturing out to the stadium. There is one surface lot and a parking ramp on stadium property, and Safeco Field also has a ramp, but these are sold out on a season permit basis or to premium ticket holders only. To the south and west of the venue are industrial areas and parking ($10-$25) can be found there if you look hard enough. Go north and you are in historic Pioneer Square, and parking in that neighborhood is a chore even on quiet days. The best bet is to take public transportation... Amtrak's Kings Station is right next door to Seahawks Stadium and various bus lines and even a monorail takes you through downtown. The Seahawks publish a brochure, available at guest services, which outlines transportation and parking options in great detail.
Outside the Venue
Lots to describe here... there are two main entrances to the venue. The first is on the north side, which looks onto the Pioneer Square District and the skyline. Here is a wide and spacious public plaza, ticket windows, and a wide grand staircase taking you into the end zone concourse, under the massive vertical scoreboard which bears cool circular art renderings on the outside fascia. The second entrance is on the west side... here the street is closed to traffic and vendors of all kinds line the route with their many food choices and souvenir stands. Freshly popped kettle corn seems to be the big thing here, and the entire scene is reminiscent of a big street party similar to those outside Fenway. All sorts of colorful characters and entertainers (a few inspired born again Christians were holding massive placards, shouting into their megaphones and exhorting the fans to repent and be saved, or perish and fall into the eternal fires... why do these folks always seem to turn up at sporting events?)
Connected to the stadium to the south is the Seahawks Exhibition Center. There are two nice looking dot matrix video boards outside the Center which look quite imposing. This is a 100,000 s.f. convention hall and is open to the public three hours before game time. Essentially, what you will find here is a large indoor tailgate party. The hall is decorated with banners, massive murals and flags. Live musical entertainment, exhibits to view, games and prizes, seating areas with big screen TVs and concessions. One can walk right into the stadium from the Center without having to go outside.
Also of note is the goings on at Safeco Field. The Mariners open up their left field concourse before the game, and sell food and merchandise at their concession stands. One can also find live musical entertainment, and visitors can walk through the bullpen area and right onto the field. Adults can walk around the warning track and kids are invited to run the bases. High above is the jumbotron showing Mariners highlights. All very nice, Mariners!!!
The stadium itself is designed with a brown brick facade, and steel ramps in the corners, with light colored rooflines on the upper deck. The most dramatic look of this venue has to be its two distinctive arched roofs which span high above each sideline across the entire length of the stadium. These roofs provide protection from the elements to about 70% of the seats in the stadium. The building looks most striking at night, when it is beautifully floodlit and can best be enjoyed from a distance. The "Seahawks Stadium" monikers are emblazoned across the roofs and they can be seen from the sky or from a high vantage point.
The Seating Bowl
There is seating here for just over 67,000, and seating is divided into two levels. Seats are colored a very dark blue, with club seats in black leather. The lower level services the terrace seats and the 200 club seats, although club seats have access to a climate controlled concourse above their section. There is ramp access only to the 300 level seats. which wraps around 75% of the seating bowl. We noticed that at the 50 yard line the upper deck seats go at least 50 rows, so plan for a long climb!. In the north end zone is a triangular shaped bleacher type section, offering the cheapest seats in the house.
Two Philips video boards here... the main one is in the south end zone but the one worth mentioning has to be the VERTICAL video board above the north end zone bleachers. The graphics and video here are just a bit different than the companion board and gives the fan a different viewing perspective. Kinda neat!
At mid field is a one color dot matrix board offering basic information, and that board is flanked by stationary, backlit, corporate logo marquees (similar to the set up at Raymond James Stadium). Other than a few changeable ad panels in each end zone, we have to make note of the "offense" and "defense" stat boards which are found in each corner high above the seating bowl. These boards keep track of in game team stats in real time. They are almost identical in concept and design to the "Sizzle" and "Fizzle" boards seen at Portland's Rose Garden.
We'll start you on the upper concourse, which is so hugely wide that space is even allotted for tables and chairs. Not much in the way of congestion points and walking around this venue is a snap. Most of the upper concourse is open air and exposed to the elements, however. The lower concourse is also spacious, but with bare yellow walls and exposed pipe and ductwork in the ceilings is a bit bland. The concession canopies bear photographs of many of the natural wonders around the state of Washington and that adds a bit of color.
In keeping with the plan we have seen at the newer venues, we found a myriad of food selections here and Seahawks Stadium definitely does not disappoint. The west coast staple of garlic fries is in abundance here, and folks around these parts just love their kettle corn. We even spotted a stand in the upper deck end zone offering Vietnamese fare (and the lines were long there so it must have been good stuff). Interestingly, the menus at the concession stands are displayed on TV monitors, such as we have only seen before at the Rose Garden. That's when it hit us... doesn't Paul Allen own both the Seahawks and the Trailblazers? Good concepts deserve to be imitated and used elsewhere if they are successful.
The main Seahawks team store is right at the west plaza entrance, and there are many additional merchandise stands scattered trhoughout the venue.
We had club seats for this game so we can offer our perspective of this area here. Club seats are a hard sell here, and the Seahawks repriced their cheapest club seat at $95 (top price is $280). An NFL club seat costing two figures is rare in this day and age, so we took advantage of the "deal". The club concourse here is climate controlled, and there are several lounge areas with indoor seating, offering carving stations and premium concessions. At the 50 yard line lounge there is a seating rail offering a view of the field. In the end zone behind the scoreboard is a well appointed premium restaurant, offering a pre game buffet. (Reservations were needed on this sold out night). Some of the tables have a view of the field as well. One level above is a suite level, and in the north end zone, there is a row of dugout suites right at field level.
The Seahawks have not had too much success on the field in their quarter century of existence, but their '88 and '99 division championship banners are displayed in the corners. On the visitors sideline along the suite level is a ring of honor. Until tonight it bore six names, but tonight a seventh, defensive standout Kenny Easley, had his name unveiled and enshrined onto the ring in a nice halftime ceremony. The theme of this honored wall reads "Honor the past... challenge the future".
Touchdowns, Extra Points, Fumbles
Fumble - to the sphincter police ushers, whose quest to say the words "tickets please" seem to attempt to shatter some sort of record. Many fans here simply wear their stub on a lanyard and hang it around their neck. Also, one usher stopped Peter and tried to prevent him from taking photographs, insisting that our camera was a motion picture device and thus prohibited. He got out of there before more trouble ensued!
Touchdown - to the Seahawks for displaying a very cool mural in the 100 level concourse... acknowledging the work of all the local building trades who worked on the construction of Seahawks Stadium. This display recognizes the roster of the locals very tastefully and we give thumbs up for the nice props to those who made this building possible.
Touchdown - to the synergy of the neighborhood and how a football game is a real event here. Being downtown and little surface parking there is not much room to tailgate, but the pregame events in the Exhibition Center, Safeco Field, the street vendors and all the goings on outside made for a really festive event. Seahawks football is really a daylong event to savor!
Extra Point - The game ended around 9:10 pm PT, yet most of the eateries and bars nearby and in Pioneer Square were either closed or closing. Party town??? These guys have a lot to learn! We finally found a tavern that wasn't too crowded, had a pitcher and called it a night.
Fumble - With the Seahawks taking a 21-20 lead early in the 4th quarter, we thought the USRT karma would strike again, but it was not meant to be as the favored 49ers got the go ahead touchdown and then played ball control, winning the game 28-21. Since our next game is seeing our Bills play at Pro Player against the Dolphins, we'll be happy if the karma takes a snooze till our following journey in November.
It is absolutely amazing how these new NFL venues are pushing the envelope to offer the fans the newest and latest in design and amenities. Seahawks Stadium is an architectural jewel. It is a beautiful addition to downtown Seattle, and the view of the Seattle skyline from the seating bowl is magnificent. Food selection, video boards and event presentation is also outstanding. The downtown setting adds so much to the stadium experience... which is so totally different than attending an NFL game in a remote location away from the city. It is unfortunate that Seattle fans are not packing this place. The team hasn't had much success in the last couple years and the fans are getting impatient. This was a sold out game for Monday Night Football but tickets were in abundance for the remaining schedule. Nevertheless, we can find little at fault about this venue and add it to the list of the top stadiums going.
July 1, 2010
Copyright 2010 MediaVentures
The Seattle Seahawks and Jones Soda will not renew their three-year sponsorship deal when it expires, according to the Seattle Times. No new sponsor has been announced. The decision comes three months after Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air switched back to Coca-Cola after less than two years with Jones, the newspaper reported. In the mid-'90s, Jones became a national player in big grocery and other retail chains, where it distributed pop in aluminum cans. The Seahawks and Alaska Airlines deals were break-even propositions meant to raise its profile, executives said at Jones' 2008 annual meeting.
June 23, 2011
Copyright 2011 MediaVentures
The home of the Seattle Seahawks and Seattle Sounders FC will soon get a new name, the Tacoma News Tribune reported. Peter McLoughlin, president of both teams, announced that Qwest Field will officially be renamed CenturyLink Field and CenturyLink Event Center. CenturyLink purchased Qwest in April.
CENTURYLINK EXTENDS NAMING RIGHTS DEAL
June 30, 2011
Copyright 2011 MediaVentures
Seattle, Wash. - Five years has been added to the naming rights deal CenturyLink assumed for
the home of the Seattle Seahawks, the Seattle Times reported. The venue recently became CenturyLink Field after the firm acquired Qwest earlier this year.
The original deal will now run until 2019.
The new logo incorporates the green that is part of CenturyLink's logo and the MLS Sounders,
the blue of the Seahawks, and the arc that is a signature part of the stadium's design.
Signage around the stadium will be replaced, and the re-branding with the new logo is
estimated to be completed by mid-August, according to Peter McLoughlin, president and CEO of the Seahawks and Sounders.