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Seattle Sounders FC eye new Tacoma stadium

Seattle Sounders FC and the Tacoma Rainiers Minor League Baseball outfit have signed a memorandum of understanding to develop a new, 5,000-seat soccer-specific stadium in Tacoma, Washington.

The stadium will become home to the United Soccer League club, Sounders FC majority owner Adrian Hanauer said.

We want to continue to invest, build the infrastructure and continue to develop the game. Beyond the player development side, which is obviously a very important part of the puzzle, Tacoma is the third-biggest city in Washington State.

There’s a lot of Sounders fans down there and potential for a lot more. We think if we continue to grow the game anywhere in this state, it leads to more Sounders fans and we want to sell [CenturyLink Field] out some day.

The Sounders also released renderings of the future venue, which would be created in collaboration with architects Populous.

Under the terms of the partnership, the Rainiers would run the organisation, while the Sounders would lead the technical staff for the team. Hanauer added:

We are absolutely thrilled to be moving forward with the Tacoma Rainiers and the City of Tacoma, progressing toward construction of a soccer-specific stadium.

Our vision of having players begin their time with the club playing at Starfire with the Academy, then move up to the USL team with matches in Tacoma, before finally getting the call-up to the First Team at CenturyLink Field – all while playing within the Puget Sound region – really reinforces our commitment to bringing quality soccer to the communities of Western Washington.

Rainiers President Aaron Artman added:

This is the art of the possible. What can we create, with our community and our partners, that adds to Tacoma’s current trajectory? Now that both parties have agreed on a structure to move forward – as one entity representing USL soccer in Tacoma – it gives us the ability to work together to try to deliver a first-class stadium experience.