Seattle Sounders to move football operations to site of former Boeing headquarters 2/17/2022
The Seattle Sounders have announced plans for the new home of their football operations in Renton on the site of Boeing’s former headquarters in Longacres.
The new complex, which is expected to open in 2024 to mark the Sounders’ 50th anniversary, will feature four full-size practice fields – two with grass and two with artificial turf – and 50,000 square feet of renovated space. for both MLS club football operations and reception staff. Majority owner of Sounders Adrian Hanauer said it would be a huge investment for the club, costing “tens of millions of dollars to complete a project like this”.
Since entering MLS in 2009, Seattle has trained at Starfire Sports in Tukwila, about five minutes from Longacres, but has had to share the facility. Hanauer said the Sounders looked at potential sites throughout the Seattle area, but Covid-19 put a “speed bump” in the decision-making process for a new home.
“I wouldn’t exactly call it an arms race,” he said, “but there’s a lot of investment in infrastructure. And we want to be ahead as much as possible, but there are many facilities around our league that are fantastic, beautiful We learn from some of the things they did well, some of the mistakes they made We will definitely try to put our own stamp on it and we certainly want that it is the main facility. But I would certainly be lying if I said that there are not other clubs in our league investing in infrastructure and trying to do the same thing that we are doing here today.”
The Sounders are one of five MLS teams that will play in NFL stadiums in 2022. They have played at the 72,000-seat Lumen Field since their launch in MLS in 2009. Lumen Field is the proposed stadium for games in the 2026 World Cup in Seattle. The Renton complex has been presented to FIFA as a preferred training site.
“We took them on a sneak tour of the facility,” Hanauer said, “so they’ve seen the blueprints, they know this could potentially be a training center.”
The NWSL’s OL Reign will play full-time at Lumen Field for the first time in 2022. Hanauer said the Sounders have been in communication with the Reign about their plans for the new facility. The French owners of the Reign are also looking for a permanent training site.
Director General of Pollsters Garth Lagerwey said court layout details have not been finalized — they could add a fifth court — so it was too early to know if the Sounders would have the Tacoma Defiance, their second team, play in Renton.
Photo: Seattle Sounders