Opening Day: July 28, 2002
Capacity: 38,500, but expandable to 67,000 for special matches
Current Owner: Washington State Public Stadium Authority
Team Website: soundersfc.com
Team Phone: 877/657-4625
Address: 800 Occidental Av. S., Seattle, WA 98134
From the North/South: Follow I-5 and exit onto James Street, 4th Avenue or Airport Way and follow them to the CenturyLink complex.
From the East: Follow I-90 and exit right onto 4th Avenue South, then turn right onto South Royal Brougham Way.
From the East: Take I-90 and follow the Fourth Avenue South signs on the right, then turn right onto South Royal Brougham Way.
Home of Seattle Sounders FC since 2009 (as well as the United Soccer Leagues Division 1 iteration of the Sounders between 2003 and 2008, as well as the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks since 2002), CenturyLink Field draws record crowds who come to see the Sounders FC play—67,385 fans crammed into the stands on August 24, 2013 to see them play against Portland’s Timbers club—and indeed draws crowds who go to see all tiers of soccer, ranging from amateur to international/World Cup matches. Built on the site of the old Kingdome (where the National American Soccer League iteration of the Sounders played between 1976 and 1983), CenturyLink Field enjoys a proximity to both downtown Seattle as well as Puget Sound.
One of the defining features of CenturyLink is its on-site environmental efforts. The facility diverts 94% of generated waste away from dumps, and also offers more sustainable concessions within the park. CenturyLink also receives a portion of its electricity from a 2.5 solar array, built on top of the Event Center, which generates approximately 800,000 kilowatt hours each year for the stadium’s use and upkeep. The stadium’s FieldTurf, in addition, is made of recycled tennis shoes and tires.
But the thing to emphasize with CenturyLink Field is size. Most of the stands are situated under two enormous roofs that flank the length of the field, lengthwise of the Alaskan Way Viaduct and Puget Sound. The width of the field remains uncovered, as does the space above, which incorporates Seattle’s skyline directly into its scope. The stadium also vaunts an extreme amount of amenities for spectators—63 restrooms, paired with 45 concession stands and 55 beer stands—which makes CenturyLink inviting for large, loud crowds.