CenturyLink Field in Seattle, Wash., opened its doors Sept. 4 to the Seattle Seahawks’ ardent fans, launching the team’s 2014 National Football League (NFL) season opener. The Seahawks’ Super Bowl XLVIII win has galvanized Seattle into football frenzy. On opening day, the team wanted special recognition for its winning ways and its “12th man” fan base, whose ear-splitting roars are credited with distracting opposing teams.
Since 2008, Rainier Industries, Tukwila, Wash., has designed large-scale fabric banners resistant to wind storms for the Seahawks franchise. The banners celebrating the Seahawks’ prior NFL achievements (West division champs in 2007 and 2010, NFL champs in 2013) are 18 feet tall and almost 10 feet wide. Rainier solved the wind problem by attaching an engineered aluminum and steel main support frame to the stadium’s catwalk. The printed banners were stapled onto an aluminum extrusion that attached to the main frame. “After the Super Bowl win, [the Seahawks] wanted to go big and make the Super Bowl frame larger than the others,” says Josh Lindholm, account executive for Rainier Retail.
For the mega-banner (18 by 14-and-a-half feet) commemorating the Super Bowl win, Rainier used the same concept, adding an additional center support to stabilize the larger frame. Rainier printed the banner in two pieces on 13-ounce durascrim vinyl, a rugged choice for outdoor environments. Construction of the final product took place on site, and a crew of approximately 50 people carried the banner onto the field before kick-off.