Seahawks President Chuck Arnold talks about the state of the team

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A native of Tacoma, Curtis High graduate Chris Arnold (holding a helmet) with his family immediately to his right after being promoted Monday from chief operating officer to president of the Seahawks. On the flanks: team vice-chairman Bert Kolde (left) and new Vulcan Sports and Entertainment CEO Chris McGowan (far right).

The Seahawks want to give Seattle back their home advantage.

To this end, it is planned to upgrade Lumen Field for the 2022 season.

That’s what team president Chuck Arnold said on KJR-AM radio on Monday.

“Are you ready for serious news?” Arnold teased KJR presenter Dave “Soft Mahler on Monday afternoon. “If all goes according to plan – and this with production, delivery, installation and these things – we will have two new video cards in the northern part of the building in 2022.”

It is the center of the city. It’s in the open spaces of SoDo Stadium between the metal grandstands of the end zone from the old Kingdome, which the team calls the “Hawk’s Nest” and the main deck seat design that wraps around the opposite, south of the end of Lumen Field. At this northern end there are now two small statistical boards “hustle board” as well as a small video board on top of the final grandstands. In the southern part of the stadium there is a giant main video screen.

“They’ll be twice as big as what you now see there with hustle boards on the east and west side of the Hawk’s Nest,” Arnold said of the two new video boards.

Thus, the total number of large, horizontally oriented video cards in Lumen Field will double in 2022 from two to four.

For Arnold, video boards are part of his biggest goal in the direction of the franchise, in the dimension without Xs and Os: Lumen Field, which is now 20 years old, needs to improve the fan experience.

Last season, the Seahawks went to Lumen Field with a score of 3-5. They lost seven of their last 12 home games in December 2020. Including a terrible defeat in the playoffs by Reims in the playoffs in January 2021, when Seattle had just finished the regular season 12-4 and defeated NFC West.

The Seahawks ’home advantage in noise, weather and wins, known throughout the NFL, has not been as great in the last two seasons.

Arnold is well aware of this.

“Coming out of the pandemic, we need to rethink the guest experience a bit,” Arnold said. “We need to figure out what it’s like to continue this home field advantage, and how we can make sure we exceed our 12 expectations every time they come to Lumen Field.

“We’re also learning to communicate with 12 outside of the game day. This business is no longer just Sunday. That’s 365 days a year. …

“For us, it supports the brand. We feel we have a place in this community, but we want to feel that we are also influential in this community. ”

Game return

Arnold is a native of Tacoma and a graduate of Curtis High School. He is became president of the Seahawks in September 2018. He replaced Peter McLaughlin, who had served as team president for eight years, including participating in the Super Cup. Arnold began working at Seahawks as an intern in 1994.

On the radio on Monday, he touched on another popular topic among fans: a game in reverse with a uniform from the team’s original themes of 1976-2002. That’s the look of Jim Zorn to Steve Big: silver helmets and blue jerseys over silver pants, with blue and green trim and an original Indian-style sea urchin head in a more blocky, straight-horizontal style on the helmets.

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Hall of Fame member Steve Largent against one of his brightest rivals in his career at the Seahawks, which covered his first season in Seattle from 1976 to 1989: The Raiders. Photo file Associated Press

Arnold repeated one problem with which the Seahawks did not join other teams to have a return form for the game: The NFL requires any old school, alternative forms include helmets of the same color that the team wears in every other game. The Seahawks have been wearing navy blue helmets since the first major shape change, in 2002.

“The league has now, in 2022, allowed a second version of the helmet,” Arnold said.

“With this we are approaching. We won’t see this in 2022, but we are making progress. We know that the fans will enjoy the memories. “

Arnold said the returns will take place no earlier than 2023 because the return mold maker needs time to design and produce a massive quantity that the team can sell in its retail markets.

Seahawks in Germany?

The NFL announced this month that it will host five games in the 2022 regular season outside the United States. Three will be in London, where the league has been playing for decades, one will be in Mexico City and one – in Munich. This fall will be the first game of the NFL regular season in Germany.

Will the Seahawks play in one of these international games?

In December, Germany joined the league new international domestic market for the NFC Tampa Bay and Carolina teams. The Seahawks will play the Buccaneers in a 2022 home game against Tampa Bay.

Will this be a “home” game for the Tampa Bay Seahawks in Munich? Will the Seahawks play any of these NFL international games this year?

“We haven’t heard anything yet,” Arnold said. “But that doesn’t mean we are or we aren’t.”

The League will announce six international games as part of its schedule for 2022 in May.

When The Seahawks played in London in 2018, The 27-3 defeat of the Raiders at Wembley Stadium, crowds of Seattle fans from Europe arrived in England this week. Germany was especially and sincerely represented by the Seahawks fans at that game in London.

A German television reporter explained to The News Tribune that week in England that the Seahawks had become a favorite of the Germans when the NFL’s popularity in Germany grew about 10 years ago. Often in an NFL game shown on German television, the Seahawks were then shown because a match in Seattle was often shown as League of the Week game. That was when the team was on its way to winning the Super Cup at the end of the 2013 season and moving on to another next year.

The ring of honor is added in 2022

Matt Hasselbeck and Mike Holmgren from the team’s first race to the Super Cup in the 2005 season hit the Ring of Honor with a week difference last season. This was the first time the Seahawks have introduced someone to what is essentially their Hall of Fame since 2019.

Arnold said the Seahawks plan to introduce another member of the team’s past in the franchise’s honorary ring in the 2022 season.

“I think you’ll probably see another one this coming season,” Arnold told KJR. “There are a lot of worthy candidates and I think this year we are going to nominate another one.”

The team president declined to say or hint who might be the winner.

Financial prospects

Arnold said that despite one season without fans at home games in 2020 and a depressed economy regionally and nationally during the pandemic, a known number of team accounts for season ticket holders and a waiting list are in place at Lumen Field (capacity for football just over 69,000) has not decreased.

“Over those time periods we had 97% plus the refresh rate,” Arnold said. “We had the 154th sold-out in a row; it was the last game this (last) year. Both at the level of sponsorship and at the level of ticket sales, everything is very strong. “

Arnold said Seahawks ’“ Blue Pride ”waiting list for season ticket purchases was“ still strong ”. He did not specify the number, but the last time the team did so, said the list of people who contributed $ 100 per seat who aspired to be on the waiting list remained at 12,000. In this list, there are usually about 600 new season ticket holders each year, filling vacancies of those 3% or so who do not renew their season tickets.

“It’s one of the areas of our business that really survived the pandemic.”

Arnold said the Seahawks were financially owned by the Paul G. Allen Trust and supported by his company Vulcan, Inc. with Jody Allen, sister of the late team owner, while the franchise chair continues to thrive. This is despite two years of declining stadium revenue and gaming revenue from the coronavirus pandemic.

“Given the state of the organization, we continue to be incredibly strong when coming out of this pandemic. So much so, I’m looking out my window now, and we have all these bulldozers and excavators, and we’re creating a whole new practical platform here at VMAC, ”Arnold said.

“Everyone is now just moving towards 2022. I think the word that Clint Hurt (Seahawks recently appointed defense coordinator) used “aggressive”.

“So we’re ready to go.”

Greg Bell is a Seahawk and NFL writer for The News Tribune. In January 2019, the National Sports Media Association named him Washington State Sports Award of the Year. He began covering the NFL in 2002 when the Oakland Raiders defeated author The Sacramento Bee. The Ohio native began covering the Seahawks in their first season of the 2005 Super Cup. He previously graduated from West Point and served as a tactical intelligence officer in the U.S. Army, so he may ask you to leave and give him 10.

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