Seattle Sounders FC plays home matches at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, also home to the Seattle Seahawks. Sounders FC minority owner Paul Allen is also the owner of the Seahawks, who have a 30-year lease on CenturyLink Field. Because of this relationship, Sounders FC makes use of CenturyLink Field without paying rent. For Sounders FC matches, the pitch is called "The Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field" as part of the sponsorship deal with Microsoft.
CenturyLink Field is a 67,000-seat stadium designed for both American football and soccer. Sounders FC artificially limits the stadium's capacity for MLS matches, with certain seating sections covered with tarpaulins to provide "a more intimate atmosphere." However, the club does open the entire stadium for international friendly matches, and some league matches. The team's original business plan expected only 12,000 tickets per game. Based on high initial demand, capacity for the stadium was limited to 24,500 for the beginning of the inaugural 2009 season. However, due to continued high demand, capacity has been increased multiple times, with it currently set at 38,500 for the 2012 season. On October 7, 2012, a record was established when a crowd of 66,452 attended a Sounders 3-0 win over the rival Portland Timbers: the second-highest to-date in MLS.
While Sounders FC currently plays on FieldTurf, CenturyLink Field has previously had temporary natural grass installed for international soccer events. In 2012, an updated FieldTurf surface was installed and certified by FIFA with a 2-star quality rating, the highest possible rating. If an MLS rule change requires natural grass playing surfaces, the field will be permanently replaced with natural grass.
The team's training facilities and offices are located at the Starfire Sports Complex in nearby Tukwila. Smaller than CenturyLink Field, Starfire is also used to host U.S. Open Cup matches. Sounders FC representatives have said they prefer the more intimate atmosphere for smaller cup matches.
Read more about this topic: Seattle Sounders
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Famous quotes containing the word stadium:
“Its no accident that of all the monuments left of the Greco- Roman culture the biggest is the ballpark, the Colosseum, the Yankee Stadium of ancient times.”
—Walter Wellesley (Red)
“In their eyes I have seen
the pin men of madness in marathon trim
race round the track of the stadium pupil.”
—Patricia K. Page (b. 1916)
“The final upshot of thinking is the exercise of volition, and of this thought no longer forms a part; but belief is only a stadium of mental action, an effect upon our nature due to thought, which will influence future thinking.”
—Charles Sanders Peirce (18391914)