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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Washington Legislature. Austin Jenkins is the Olympia correspondent for the Northwest News Network. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) weekly public affairs program "Inside Olympia."

CenturyLink To Pay $162.7M Over 15 Years To Retain Stadium Naming Rights

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File photo. CenturyLink will pay nearly $163 million over 15 years to retain the naming rights to CenturyLink FIeld in Seattle.

How valuable are the naming rights for an NFL stadium? In Seattle, the answer is nearly $163 million over 15 years.

That’s how much CenturyLink has agreed to pay to retain the naming rights to the stadium where the Seahawks play. It’s more than double the $75 million the naming rights cost over the past 15 years.

Sports consultant Dan Barrett said the success of the Seahawks in recent years is one reason for the jump in price.

“If the game is being televised nationally and they say ‘Live from CenturyLink Field’ there’s 15 to 20 million people that are hearing CenturyLink Field,” Barrett said. “So that’s an impression or an exposure that the company’s getting.”

Barrett was addressing the Public Stadium Authority Advisory Committee in Olympia. Most of the proceeds from the naming rights will go to the Seahawks. But under the deal with CenturyLink, 42.5 percent of the money will go to maintain the publicly-owned stadium.

The public board that oversees the stadium still needs to vote to approve the deal.

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy, as well as the Washington State Legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia."