BY Art Thiel 12:03PM 05/15/2017

No naming rights change for Seahawks stadium

The stadium shall stay CenturyLink until 2033, after an extension on the naming rights deal;was announced Monday for the home of the Seahawks and Sounders.

CenturyLink and the Seahawks will stay naming-rights partners through 2033. / Wiki Commons

The stadium will be the Clink until 2033, unless you’re a more formal sort who avoids nicknames; CenturyLink Field, home of the Seahawks and Sounders, will stay as it is. The extension of the naming rights deal with the global communications and IT services company was announced Monday by Seahawks president Peter McLoughlin.

No financial terms were disclosed.

“To be able to continue with the incumbent partner is fantastic,” McLoughlin said on ESPN 710 radio, the team’s flagship station. “They see the value you bring them.”

The parties in 2011 extended the original deal to 2019, so the new extension well in advance of the expiration suggests an eagerness to continue. Since that first extension was signed, the Seahawks have been to two Super Bowls, winning one, and have become one of the NFL’s most successful franchises, with playoff wins in five consecutive seasons.

That suggests the naming rights fee has gone up a tad.

The stadium, opened in 2002, became Qwest Field in 2004 before Qwest was acquired  by CenturyLink. The enterprise hosts 185 events per year and attracts more than 2.4 million attendees annually to the stadium, events center and WaMu Theater.

“We’ve had a lot of prime-time games, and hosted two NFC Championships,” McLoughlin said. “We lead the league in retail sales. I believe we’ve become a national brand. Our in-stadium experience is the best in the NFL.”

Forbes.com in 2016 listed the Seahawks’ franchise value at $2.225 billion, a robust appreciation from 1997, when Paul Allen paid $194 million to Ken Behring for the team. But it is only about half the value of the No. 1 team, the Dallas Cowboys, listed at $4.2 billion. Last are the Buffalo Bills at $1.5 billion.

But every team made at least $26 million, so anyone suggesting that the recent franchise relocations of the Rams and Chargers to Los Angeles, and the next one of the Raiders to Las Vegas, was a matter of financial survival, is using alternative facts.

Forbes listed the Seahawks’ revenues for 2015 at $377 million, and a net income of $67 million.

Forbes lists Allen, also owner of the NBA Portland Trail Blazers, as the NFL’s richest owner, worth $19 billion. Second-richest in the NFL is Los Angeles Rams owner Stan Kroenke at $7.4 billion.

Now that the new Clink extension is locked up, it’s fairly certain that the Allen empire is in more substantial shape than his offensive line.


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