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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
By Percy Allen
Just to the south, the Mariners solved the rainy problems of the Northwest by building a retractable roof for times when the weather doesn't cooperate.
Since he purchased the Seahawks, however, owner Paul Allen was been adamant about taking his new team out of the cozy, climate-controlled confines of the Kingdome and placing it outdoors in the rain and shine.
"I got my first taste of football when I went with my father to Husky Stadium," he said in a recent interview. "We'd eat hot dogs and watched football played outside, in the elements. That has a special gritty, outdoorsy thing to that experience that I loved as a kid."
It's no wonder that the Seahawks Stadium design is similar to Husky Stadium, where the majority of the sideline stands are covered by the roof. The upper sections on the west side provide the best protection from rain and, conversely, the least sunlight.
Anyone sitting in the bleachers beneath the north-end video boards will need to bring sunscreen for the August games and parkas late in the season.
A year ago, September was the driest month, as just .85 inches of rain fell on Seattle; November was the wettest month, at 8.56 inches.
However, Seahawks players, who have had two years to adjust to outdoor football while playing at Husky Stadium, claim it's not the rain but the wind that adversely affects their performance.
"At least for me, the most noticeable difference between the Kingdome and Husky Stadium is the wind," said punter Jeff Feagles, who began his career in New England in 1988. "And I would bet anyone who's kicked and (thrown) a pass in both of those places would say the same thing.
"... I haven't been in the new place yet, so I'm not sure what the wind situation is in there. Whatever it is, it's going to be an adjustment."
Seattle's autumn and winter wind pattern, which runs south to north, shouldn't cause too much of a problem because the south end of the stadium is enclosed.
After a visit to the stadium a few months ago, quarterback Trent Dilfer noted that the afternoon sun will likely cast long shadows across the field and could be an annoyance to receivers and quarterbacks.
"It doesn't seem to be as drastic as Texas Stadium, but it's going to take some getting used to," he said. "That and the (FieldTurf) and the wind, those are the quirky little things that give you a home-field advantage against a team coming in for the first time."
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