CenturyLink Field is a multi-purpose stadium in Seattle, Washington, United States. It serves as the home field for the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League (NFL) and Seattle Sounders FC of Major League Soccer (MLS). It was originally called Seahawks Stadium but was renamed Qwest Field on June 23, 2004, when telecommunications carrier Qwest acquired the naming rights. It was then given its current name in June 2011 after the acquisition of Qwest by CenturyLink. The complex also includes the Event Center with the WaMu Theater, a parking garage, and a public plaza. The venue hosts concerts, trade shows, and consumer shows along with sporting events. Located within a mile (1.6 km) of Seattle's central business district, the venue is accessible by multiple freeways and forms of mass transit.
The stadium was built between 2000 and 2002 after voters approved funding for the construction in a statewide election held on June 17, 1997. This vote created the Washington State Public Stadium Authority to oversee public ownership of the venue. The owner of the Seahawks, Paul Allen, formed First & Goal Inc. to develop and operate the new facilities. Allen was closely involved in the design process and emphasized the importance of an open-air venue with an intimate atmosphere. The stadium is a modern facility with views of the skyline of Downtown Seattle. The stadium can seat 67,000 people.
The crowd at CenturyLink Field is notoriously loud during Seahawks games. On September 15, 2013, during a game against the San Francisco 49ers, the fans broke the Guinness World Record for loudest crowd roar at an outdoor stadium with 136.6 decibels. The record was broken on October 13, 2013, at Kansas City's Arrowhead Stadium, home of the NFL's Kansas City Chiefs with a roar of 137.5 dB, but fans reclaimed the title on December 2, 2013, during a Monday night game against the New Orleans Saints, with a roar of 137.6 decibels. Arrowhead reclaimed the title on September 29, 2014 reaching 142.2 dB in a Monday Night Football game vs. the Patriots. The noise has contributed to the team's home field advantage with an increase in false start (movement by an offensive player prior to the play) penalties against visiting teams. The stadium was the first in the NFL to implement a FieldTurf artificial field. Numerous college and high school American football games have also been played at the stadium.
CenturyLink Field is also designed for soccer. The first sporting event held included a United Soccer Leagues (USL) Seattle Sounders match. The USL team began using the stadium regularly for home games in 2003. The MLS expansion team Seattle Sounders FC, began its inaugural season in 2009 at the stadium. CenturyLink Field was the site of the MLS Cup in 2009. The venue also hosted the 2010 and 2011 tournament finals for the U.S. Open Cup. Sounders FC won both times and new attendance records were set each year it was hosted at CenturyLink Field. On August 25, 2013, the Sounders broke a new home field attendance record when 67,385 fans turned out to watch them play the Portland Timbers.