(Reuters) - The Seattle Seahawks are protecting their raucous home-field advantage by denying California residents tickets to Sunday's NFC Championship game against the San Francisco 49ers.
Seattle, whose CenturyLink Field is the noisiest and most hostile stadium in the league for opposing teams, is limiting ticket sales to a few neighboring states and Canadian provinces, but not California, a ploy that has been endorsed by an unlikely advocate - San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh.
"I actually respect it - what you're trying to do for your team, put them in the best possible position to win," Harbaugh told the San Francisco Chronicle. "I respect that their organization does that for their team."
The top-seeded NFC West champion Seahawks have won 16 of their last 17 games at CenturyLink Field, where record decibel levels have been recorded during Seattle games.
Seattle is not alone in restricting ticket sales.
The Denver Broncos have made a similar move for Sunday's AFC Championship game against the New England Patriots to limit the presence of fans cheering for the visiting team.
The Broncos said they would only ship tickets to billing addresses in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming, Nebraska, Montana, South Dakota and western Kansas.
(Reporting by Larry Fine in New York; Editing by Frank Pingue)