I can’t say I’m a real football or soccer fan, which may explain why I’ve never attended a sporting event at Qwest Field in Seattle. OK, CenturyLink Field, as it officially became known in June 2011. My Seattle sports record is much better at the venue next door, Safeco Field, where at least once I year I take in a Seattle Mariners game. In August, I’m looking forward to seeing the M’s play on a weekend afternoon against the Chicago White Sox.
But Seattle is all about soccer this week, with the mighty Manchester United coming to town to play against the Seattle Sounders FC on July 20, 2011. It’s being billed as a friendly match, and I’ll be there, making my debut at the new CenturyLink Field.
I visited Manchester United’s Old Trafford Stadium several years ago while attending a conference of travel journalists in England. Our group was given a tour of the stadium, and we even had dinner there (see the accompanying slideshow). But unlike Seattle’s nine-year-old stadium, built after Washington state voters approved the funding for its construction, Old Trafford Stadium is steeped in history. Here are some other comparisons between the two stadiums, located 4,620 miles from each other — as the seagull flies.
CenturyLink – 800 Occidental Avenue South, Seattle
Old Trafford – Sir Matt Busby Way, Old Trafford, Greater Manchester
CenturyLink – July 28, 2002
Old Trafford – Feb 19, 1910
Cost at Time of Construction:
CenturyLink – $430 million (entire complex)
Old Trafford – 90,000 GBP ($145,205 USD)
CenturyLink – Ellerbe Becket
Old Trafford – Archibald Leitch
CenturyLink – 67,000 (NFL) and 35,700 (MLS: expandable to 67,00 for special events)
Old Trafford – 76,212
CenturyLink – Seattle Seahawks v Indiana Colts, August 11, 2002 (preseason, Seattle lost 28-10)
Old Trafford – Manchester United v Liverpool, Feb. 19, 1910 (Manchester lost 4-3)
CenturyLink – The Clink
Old Trafford – The Theatre of Dreams