Qwest Field -
Address: 800 Occidental Ave S.
Seattle, WA 98134
Home of: Seattle Seahawks (NFL)
Seattle Sounders FC (MLS)
Date opened: July 28, 2002
Capacity: 67,000 (NFL) (expandable to 72,000 for special events)
36,000 (MLS) (expandable to 67,000 for special events)
Cost: $430 million
Qwest Field, located at 800 Occidental Ave S, Seattle, WA 98134,
was built in 2002 and has been the home of the National Football
League’s Seattle Seahawks since its opening. The stadium
was originally named Seahawks Stadium after the team but the naming
rights were bought by Telecommunications Corporation Qwest for
$75 million over the next 15 years. Qwest Field cost between $300
million and $450 million (varying accounts) to construct but the
methods of funding were slightly different than most other cities
and stadiums. County issued bonds were extended and serviced through
car rentals and hotel taxes that raised more than $75 million.
Owner Paul Allen, who also owns the Portland Trail Blazers of the
National Basketball Association, contributed $100 million of his
own money and the state offered an additional six lottery games
to raise another $91 million that would cover the rest of the finances.
The team felt they needed their own stadium after sharing the
Kingdome with the Seattle Mariners of Major League Baseball and
the Seattle Supersonics of the NBA for more than 10 years and then
having to share the University of Washington’s Husky Field in 1994
and the 2000-2001 seasons. Qwest Field has a field turf playing
surface, one of the more common surfaces in the league. The stadium
can hold 67,000 people with 82 luxury suites and more than 7,000
club level seats. It also features space for 3,000 bleacher seats,
also referred to as the “Hawk Nest”. Qwest Field also
features a 13-story tower that rests at the north entrance of the
stadium. Qwest Field is also the first stadium to offer luxury
suites directly behind the north end zone to give fans another
thrilling experience. One of the most unique features of the stadium
is the overhanging roof design and rainbow tri-chord trusses that
rise 260 feet above the field surface. The roof covers 70 percent
of the seats keeping many fans dry during inclement weather, a
common occurrence in the Northwestern portion of the nation.
Qwest Field was also designed for soccer; the first sporting event held was a United Soccer Leagues (USL) Seattle Sounders match. The USL team began regularly using the stadium for home games in 2003. The local MLS expansion team, Seattle Sounders FC, began its inaugural season in 2009 at the stadium. Qwest Field was also the site of the MLS Cup in 2009.