News Thursday that the Seahawks are considering expanding the Clink by 2,000 to 3,000 seats generated rumors in San Francisco that the 49ers are petitioning the NFL to switch to the Canadian Football League.
While that remains unconfirmed, Seahawks officials did confirm the report by FoxSports.com that the team wants to fill in the south-end space behind the 12th Man flag where there is a gap in the the seating.
The extra architecture would help contain the noise within the bowl and make just a little louder the stadium where the 49ers have scored 16 points in their last two appearances. The most recent was a 29-3 defeat Sept.15, in which the crowd set an audio record of 131.6 decibels (think jet engine) verified by the Guinness as a world record for a stadium.
The driver, of course, is money. The Seahawks are working on a streak of 87 consecutive sellouts for a stadium that officially seats 67,000, but had 68,338 for the 49ers game. The Seahawks capped their season ticket sales at 62,000, with a 98 percent renewal rate. The single game tickets were sold out within hours of sale in July.
Capacity is 20th among 32 NFL teams, and the Seahawks have said the building could be retrofitted for up to 72,000 seats, which is also the minimum number required for hosting a Super Bowl. Now that New York is hosting an outdoor Super Bowl in February, the longtime refusal to have the championship game outdoors in a cold-weather city is apparently over.
In 1989 the league instituted a rule that mandated a penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct for the home team if crowd noise disrupted the visiting offense, which came about largely because of noise in the Kingdome. The rule was rarely enforced and quietly went away in 2007.
The Seahawks are 20-7 at home since Pete Carroll became head coach in 2010 and 11-18 on the road.
Noise rules. Still the dumbest concept the NFL ever came up with. When some teams struggle to get fans to go to their games it makes no sense to also tell fans to shut up.