Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Loudest Stadium in the Country

By Patrick Londrigan

CenturyLink Field, formerly know as Qwest Field, is home to the Seattle Seahawks and located in the historic Pioneer Square in downtown Seattle, Washington.  This $430 million dollar facility was built a top the former site of the Kingdome.  The Kingdome was torn down and the concrete from it was processed and recycled to use in the construction of CenturyLink.  Half of that concrete was built into the stadium.

Figure 1: CenturyLink Field
The stadium was designed by AECOM and has a capacity for 72,000 fans.  Inside features a total of 67,000 fixed seats including 7,000 club seats.  The seating also expands to an additional 5,000 more seats for special events.  Also including 112 suites spreading over 3 different areas of the stadium, Suite, club and Red Zone.  Above those seats is a 720-foot roof span that covers 70 percent of the seats and reflects noise back onto the field, while still allowing for dramatic views of the downtown skyline and Mount Rainier.  But what makes the stadium so great are the fans that come to cheer on the Seahawks, the renowned 12th man.

Figure 2: View showing the metra near by.

You can currently find CenturyLink Field in the Guinness Book of World Records for the loudest stadium in the country.  Paul Greisemer, principal architectural director at AECOM said that the stadium was built to be a great home field advantage.  “The fact that it is loud is really kind of a result of a number of things that came about just through the design.  It’s on a very small site, comparatively to other stadiums, and because of that we had to compress the building very tightly.  Fans are closer to the field than they are in most any NFL stadium today.  So that combined with the desire to have a large roof covering, so fans are protected, really kind of combined the greatest of convergence of storms into a great environment.”
The materials used to build the stadium are also a major contribution to the roar of the stadium.  “It’s a metal roof so it naturally is a very reflective surface. As is the seating bowl in whish is largely concrete.  So there are a lot of those materials that are serving as sound mirrors, if you will, and bouncing the sound right back.” One of the best aspects of the design is that the loudest part of the stadium is located on the field.  So if you are a visiting team playing in Seattle, be ready for a very problematic game and if you’re a fan going to the game, be loud and be proud because the 12th man intimidates teams around the country.

Figure 3: Interior View

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