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Thursday, March 8, 2012
Could stadium keep Manning from Seattle?

By Mike Sando

The Seattle Seahawks arguably lost out on hosting a Super Bowl when they decided to build their current stadium without a roof.

That decision could also factor into their ability to land quarterback Peyton Manning.

"Those close to Manning, who has played his entire career in a dome at home, say he has no interest playing with a cold-weather team," Mark Cannizzaro wrote in the New York Post.

We covered this ground during the recent "myths vs. motivators" item. Perhaps this one is more motivator than myth when it comes to what matters most to Manning during his first shot at free agency.

Seattle isn't a cold-weather town the way Chicago or Kansas City are cold-weather towns, but weather there is still a negative factor for any quarterback seeking ideal conditions. The Seahawks played indoors at the Kingdome from their 1976 inception through the 1999 season, but their new stadium, which opened in 2002, was designed to go topless for a reason.

"To me, football is about that open-air experience," team owner Paul Allen said during a 2002 interview. "You’re playing in the elements. It just gives it a realness and an intensity and a visceral, gritty nature that is lost when you play in an indoor facility like the Kingdome."

Manning threw his first in-game pass as a professional during the Indianapolis Colts' 1998 exhibition opener at the Kingdome. I remember settling into my seat, a little skeptical that the highly touted Manning would produce right away. The very first pass he threw found Marvin Harrison for a 48-yard touchdown.