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When did seattle seahawks change colors?

The Seattle Seahawks are a professional American football team based in Seattle, Washington. They are members of the National Football Conference West division of the National Football League (NFL). The Seahawks have gone through several uniform changes since joining the NFL in 1976, most notably changing their primary team colors in 2002.

Seahawks Origins and Early Uniforms

The Seahawks entered the NFL in 1976 as an expansion team along with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The team’s original colors were royal blue, forest green, and white. Their inaugural uniforms featured blue or white jerseys with green and white sleeves, green pants, and a blue helmet with a green stylized hawk’s head logo. This color scheme and uniform design would remain largely unchanged for over two decades.

Year Jersey Pants Helmet
1976-2001 Royal Blue or White Green Blue with Green Hawk Head Logo

During this period, the Seahawks only made minor tweaks to their uniforms. In 1983, they switched from white to gray facemasks. In 1986, they changed the striping patterns on the sleeves and pants. The green helmet was also painted a slightly brighter shade starting in 1990.

New Ownership Leads to New Colors

In 1997, billionaire Paul Allen purchased the Seahawks, rescuing the franchise from potential relocation. In 2002, Allen made the bold decision to completely overhaul the Seahawks uniforms and colors after conducting fan polls and research. The team switched their primary colors to a darker navy blue and a fluorescent neon green called “Seahawks Blue” and “Seahawks Green.”

According to then-GM Bob Ferguson, the color change was intended to project a harder, tougher identity and move beyond the soft teal-green color scheme used by the Seahawks and other 1990s expansion teams like the Charlotte Hornets and Florida Marlins. The vibrant green was also inspired by the loud crowds and natural scenery of the Pacific Northwest.

Year Jersey Pants Helmet
2002-2011 Navy Blue or White Navy Blue Navy Blue with Neon Green Hawk Head Logo

The Super Bowl Championship Uniform

The new navy, neon green, and white color scheme was an instant hit with players and fans. The Seahawks uniforms underwent a few minor tweaks between 2002-2011, like swapping navy pants for blue in 2009. But the biggest change came in 2012, when Nike became the NFL’s official uniform supplier.

For the 2012 season, Nike gave the Seahawks a modern uniform redesign that accentuated the bright neon green. The jerseys featured angular neon green stripes on the shoulders and feather-textured numbers. The pants also had neon green piping. Additionally, the helmets were updated with a metallic navy finish and a redesigned hawk head logo.

This updated look would become iconic when the Seahawks won their first Super Bowl championship in 2013, defeating the Denver Broncos 43-8 in Super Bowl XLVIII. The navy, neon green and white uniforms were seen widely as the Seahawks cemented their identity and ushered in a new era of success.

Year Jersey Pants Helmet
2012-2020 Navy Blue or White Navy Blue Navy Blue with Neon Green Hawk Head Logo

Current Uniforms Honor Retro Colors

Following their Super Bowl victory, the Seahawks made incremental changes to their uniforms over the next several seasons. In 2014, they switched back to blue pants full-time. In 2016, they removed the neon green piping from the pants. In 2020, they tweaked the hawk logo and facemask.

However, their most notable recent change came in 2020 when they unveiled their new “Action Green” alternate uniforms. These pay homage to the original 1976-2001 colors with blue jerseys, green pants, and a green hawk head logo. They have quickly become a fan favorite alternate look.

As of 2022, the Seahawks’ primary home and away uniforms still consist of the navy, neon green and white scheme. But the blue and green retro alternates are now part of the regular rotation as well. This mixes elements of the past and present for a versatile uniform lineup.

Year Primary Uniform Alternate Uniform
2020-Present Navy Blue Jersey & Pants “Action Green” Jersey & Pants

The Significance of the Seahawks’ Colors

The Seahawks’ identity has been closely tied to their team colors over their history. Each uniform shift coincided with efforts to update their image and energize their fans:

  • The original royal blue, forest green and white (1976-2001) uniforms represented the team’s expansion origins.
  • The navy, neon green and white rebrand (2002-2020) aligned with new ownership and a desire for a more aggressive, vibrant look.
  • The recent inclusion of alternate retros (2020-present) celebrates the franchise’s roots while appealing to nostalgia.

Interestingly, neither the earlier blue-green scheme nor the current darker blue-neon green fully align with Seattle’s official city colors of blue and green. However, the Seahawks’ colors are now ingrained as symbols of the team and region.

The navy, neon green, and white uniforms will likely remain the Seahawks’ primary look for the foreseeable future. But the periodic reintroduction of original colors on retro alternates allows the team to tap into multiple eras of history while continually revitalizing their image.


The Seattle Seahawks underwent major uniform and color scheme changes in 2002, shifting from their original royal blue, kelly green and white to the current navy blue, neon green and white. This change coincided with new team ownership and a desire for a more modern, impactful identity. The Seahawks found great success in the new uniforms, culminating in the franchise’s first Super Bowl championship in 2013.

While the navy and neon green remains the primary look, the Seahawks have recently introduced popular alternate “Action Green” uniforms that pay homage to the 1976-2001 colors. The periodic integration of retro elements allows the team to balance history with its new identity. The Seahawks’ uniform evolution reflects the team’s growth from humble expansion franchise to championship contender on the field and cultural icon in Seattle.