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Material on this page was published when Seahawks Stadium, now called Qwest Field, opened in 2002.
Friday, August 2, 2002 - 12:00 a.m. Pacific
Construction & design
Stadium A.V.: Audible to a power play
Seattle Times staff reporter
Standing inside the control room at Seahawks Stadium, Mike Wacker sometimes gets an eerie feeling that he's back at the Kingdome. It was, after all, in the same southwest corner of the late, unlamented facility that he began his job as director of broadcasting with the club. But that was then, and this is now. It's open air out there and serious sound and video.
"Paul Allen and his associated companies have a lot of muscle to bring to the product," Wacker said. "We've had a design group of six to eight people that have worked together as a team that's kind of on the leading edge."
Video boards sit at the north and south ends. The one at the north has a vertical configuration — 42 feet wide by 48 feet high — to blend into a "tower" effect rather than a wall that would obstruct the view toward downtown.
The south-end board is 25 feet high and 84 feet wide. Between the two, they provide several times the video space that was viewable in the Hawks' temporary home at Husky Stadium.
There are also four "hustle" boards, two at each end, that show running totals like rushing and passing yardage. Two were recycled from the Kingdome.
And there are 841 television sets throughout the stadium, 80 flat-screen plasma TVs and four large display-board screens.
During replay challenges, Wacker and his staff have to adhere to an NFL rule of showing fans only shots that the NFL is showing. They also have to hew to legislation that bans video and audio messages exhorting the home team's defense.
He points out there's no restriction on showing the inevitable fans holding up a "D" and a "fence" and says, "Our director always wants to know where they are."
If it doesn't sound good, it'll be the first upset at the new stadium.
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