CenturyLink to convert from soccer to football field in 48 hours

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by CHRIS DANIELS / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @ChrisDaniels5

KING5.com

Posted on September 12, 2013 at 6:11 PM

Updated Thursday, Sep 12 at 6:20 PM

SEATTLE – It’s an usual doubleheader that put Century Link Field to the test.

The Sounders play Friday night, with the Seahawks facing off less than 48 hours later.  The games present quite the challenge for the man charged with converting the field.

“It’s a little bit tighter, not much room for error,” said Seahawks/Sounders Facilities Director John Wright.  His team of ten people will immediately start tearing apart the Sounders pitch on Friday night, and remodeling it as a football field. 

He’s also hoping for dry weather, because the process involves completely eliminating and repainting the field.  It’s a process that wasn’t possible even a decade ago, until a little company down the street came up with an idea.

“They couldn’t get it off, had all kinds of problems,” said Mark Cheirrett of EcoChemical, based in Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood.  “They need to do fast quick turnarounds.”

So, he designed a concoction the Seahawks call “erasable paint.”

“It’s designed to fail,” said Cheirrett’s business partner George Brandt with a chuckle.

Cheirrett says his company designed the paint, at the request of the Hawks a decade ago.  It stands up in rain, “until we hit it with our chemistry.”  Cheirrett says after a special solution is applied, the “TempLine” paint is blasted with a power washer.  It instantly vanishes from the field, and Cheirrett says it’s environmentally friendly.

The Hawks say it allows them to eliminate the stripes and re-stripe in a period of roughly 14 hours.  Logos and other colors take additional time.  Inclement weather can also slow up the process. 

Cheirrett says since the Hawks starting using the paint, his company has grown to include roughly 1,000 customers across the country.

The Sounders play Real Salt Lake at 7:00 p.m.  The game will be nationally televised by NBC Sports Channel.  The Seahawks play the 49ers on Sunday at 5:30 p.m.  That game will also be nationally televised by NBC and shown on KING5.  The Seahawks said Thursday that NBC has placed 29 cameras in the stadium for the game, roughly 25% more than a normal NFL broadcast.
 

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