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World Cup 2026: Who plays at Lumen Field?

Seattle’s Lumen Field has a reputation as one of the loudest stadiums in the USA. With the news that it will be hosting six games at the 2026 World Cup, let’s take a look at one of the country’s most iconic stadiums. 

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Lumen Field before a game between the Seattle Sounders and CF Montreal. Photo by Icon Sport

Who plays at Lumen Field?

Unlike many of the stadiums which will be used for the 2026 World Cup, Lumen Field is home to multiple teams from different sports. Read on to find out who they are…

Seattle Seahawks

The principal resident of Lumen Field is NFL side the Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks are a reasonably successful franchise, having played in the Super Bowl three times, most recently at Super Bowl XLIX in 2015.

They have won the NFL’s greatest prize just once, in 2014, but it was quite a victory. They smashed the Denver Broncos 43-8 despite the Broncos starting the game as the bookies’ favourite – the largest margin of victory for an underdog in Super Bowl history.

The Seahawks are known for their passionate fans, who are known as the 12s in reference to their status as the 12th man. In fact, the team have twice held the Guinness World Record for the loudest crowd roar at an outdoor stadium – once for 136.6 decibels in 2013, then again for 137.6 decibels in 2014.

The fans’ influence is even reflected in the numbers – there is a statistical increase in the number of “false start” and “delay of game” calls made by officials against opposition teams at Lumen Field, suggesting that the crowd noise makes other teams jumpier and less able to hear each other.

The Seahawks actually lost their first game at Lumen Field in 2002, but quickly turned their fortunes around, going unbeaten at home the following season and reaching the playoffs. 

Seattle Sounders

However, the Seahawks are not the only major team to play at Lumen Field. The MLS’ Seattle Sounders also call the stadium their home.

The Sounders started using the stadium regularly in 2003, although technically the current team were only founded in 2007, having formed as a Phoenix club following the dissolution of the previous soccer side of the same name.

They are one of the MLS’ most successful teams, having qualified for the MLS Cup Playoffs every season from their inception up until 2022. They were also the first ever MLS team to compete in the FIFA Club World Cup, where they were knocked out by Al Ahly.

Former players include Clint Dempsey, Nicolás Lodeiro and DeAndre Yedlin, who came through the club’s academy. Additionally, despite having existed for 17 years, the club have only ever had two managers, a testament to the success each has had.

Like the Seahawks, they are known for their devoted fanbase – the Sounders set a new MLS record for average attendance in each one of their first five seasons. Every home game, the team is supported by a 53-strong marching band called the Sound Wave. 

Seattle Reign

But the Sounders aren’t even the only soccer team to play their home games at Lumen Field. Seattle’s main women’s soccer team, the Seattle Reign, have played at the stadium since 2022.

Formed in 2012, they were one of eight inaugural founding clubs of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL). Since 2020, the club has been owned by OL Groupe, the company which owns Olympique Lyonnais and Olympique Lyonnais Féminin – one of the most successful women’s teams of the modern age.

The Reign are coached by former Arsenal Women manager Laura Harvey, who has led them to each of their three NWSL Shield wins in her two stints as manager.

Both Megan Rapinoe and Hope Solo, two of the biggest stars of the women’s game, played the majority of their matches for the Reign. Quinn, who in 2023 became the first trans or non-binary footballer to play at a World Cup, has also been a Reign player since 2019.

What is Lumen Field like?

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Lumen Field is no stranger to spectacle. Photo by Icon Sport

Having broken ground on 28 September 1998 and opened on 28 July 2002, Lumen Field is one of the older US stadiums scheduled to host the 2026 World Cup. The complex cost $430 million to build, covers 1.5 million square feet, and also includes the Event Center, home of popular music venue the Washington Music Theater.

It has a 68,740 capacity for NFL games and 37,722 capacity for MLS matches, but its record attendance actually came for a concert – Ed Sheeran’s show on 26 August 2023 saw 77,286 in attendance.

Lumen Field is built on the former site of the Kingdome, which was the previous home of the Seahawks as well as MLB team the Seattle Mariners. On 26 March 2000, the Kingdome was destroyed in the world’s largest ever implosion of a single concrete structure. The rubble was then recycled, and around half of it was used in the construction of Lumen Field.

Because of concerns over Seattle’s rainy climate, and the stadium’s lack of a retractable roof, Lumen Field has an artificial playing surface – in fact, it was the first NFL ground to use the FieldTurf surface, one of the most common in use today.

Because both the Seahawks and the Sounders play regularly, they commissioned local company EcoChemical to produce a special kind of paint which is “designed to fail”. This mean that the paint can be washed away quickly with a power-washer and repainted according to who is playing at the stadium next.

In 2019, the stadium’s roof was fitted with a series of LEDs which outline the Lumen Field logo. In 2022, the existing video display boards were replaced by Diamond Vision boards made by Mitsubishi Electric, which were more than double the size of the originals.

Other soccer games held at Lumen Field

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Seattle Sounders fans before an MLS Cup match in 2023. Photo by Icon Sport

Ahead of the 2026 World Cup, Lumen Field is no stranger to big soccer matches. On top of all of the Sounders’ and Reign’s home matches, the stadium has held some of the biggest games in US club soccer history.

Perhaps most notable is the MLS Cup – the match to decide the MLS champions – which it has held in 2009 and 2019 (with the latter setting a new sporting attendance at 69.274).

Lumen Field also hosted the US Open Cup – the country’s oldest ongoing soccer competition – in 2010 and 2011, as well as the 2022 CONCACAF Champions League final second leg, which was won by the Seattle Sounders 5-2 on aggregate against UNAM. It was the first time in 17 years that a team outside of Mexico had won the competition.

As well as various CONCACAF Gold Cup matches over the years, the stadium also hosted games at the Copa América Centenario – the 100th anniversary of CONMEBOL and the Copa América – in 2016, including a quarter-final between the United States and Ecuador.

The six games at the 2026 World Cup will be the most important the stadium has ever hosted, but that does not mean Lumen Field has been short on soccer drama in its 22 years to date.

Jamie Barton

A freelance football writer and podcaster, Jamie has appeared on/in the BBC World Service, PA Media, Charlton Athletic FC and Empire of the Kop, among others. He's attended matches all around the world, from Tranmere to Tokyo, and once had his bus home from the 2022 Champions League final in Paris delayed by 28 hours.

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