Sport Science explains why Seattle’s CenturyLink Field is so loud
Seattle has long been said to be the most difficult place to play in the NFL. It’s the loudest stadium in the league, and visitors routinely have trouble running their offense in the environment.
The Seahawks went 8-1 at home this season and 8-0 at home last season. Their 16-1 home record, +16.4 points per game differential and +26 turnover differential at home the past two seasons places them first in the league. In 2010, they went just 7-9 during the regular season but still beat the New Orleans Saints in the playoffs, mostly because the game was at home.
So what about CenturyLink Field (FKA Qwest Field) makes it such a difficult place to play? ESPN’s Sport Science tackled the subject.
According to Sports Science, the stadium’s clam-shelled roof covers 70 percent of the seats in the stadium. The parabolic shape of the roof redirects sound back towards the field of play. It also has a cantilever construction that keeps sound swirling around the lower level. The other part of the stadium that helps the noise effort is the “Hawks Nest” beyond the end zone. The Hawks Nest is filled with about 40 rows of aluminum bleachers, which helps amplify noise when the fans stomp on the bleachers.
Given all the advantages the construction of the stadium provides, you have to wonder how the NFL approved the design. Did they not realize what effect it would have?