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Friday, August 2, 2002 - 12:00 a.m. Pacific
Material on this page was published when Seahawks Stadium, now called Qwest Field, opened in 2002.
link  Rain, wind and seating
All of the elements for a football game

By Percy Allen
Seattle Times staff reporter

Colder and wetter

Average daily temperatures (degrees Fahrenheit) and precipitation (inches) from 1971 to 2000 for the dates the Seahawks play at home this season.
Sept. 15 1 p.m. Arizona 66.3 52.2 0.110
Sept. 29 5:30 p.m. Minnesota 63.2 50.1 0.072
Oct. 14 6 p.m. San Francisco 58.3 47.1 0.058
Nov. 3 1:15 p.m. Washington 51.0 43.2 0.124
Nov. 17 1:15 p.m. Denver 50.4 43.2 0.143
Nov. 24 1:05 p.m. Kansas City 49.1 41.7 0.135
Dec. 8 1:05 p.m. Philadelphia 45.4 38.0 0.174
Dec. 22 1:05 p.m. St. Louis 41.6 34.5 0.162
Source: Western Regional Climate Center
If you push him, Ray Colliver will admit that the ivory arches perched atop the roof are just for show. To be practical, they don't serve much of a purpose other than to add to the aesthetics of the new stadium. But the crab-like configuration of the roof is both visibly pleasing and functional. "Those figures you read that says 70 percent of the seats are covered, that's about right," said Colliver, the senior project manager who witnessed the two-year construction of the building. "You may not think it on a (sunny) day like today, but it rains a bit here in Seattle ... so keeping people dry was a high priority."

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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