SEATTLE, WA (May 6, 2017) – The Seattle Sounders are following suit with the Houston Dynamo. They have announced that S2, their USL affiliate, will be moving to Tacoma, WA. The club will rebrand as Tacoma FC and will play in a new soccer-specific stadium with a capacity around 5,000.
Seattle Sounders Announce S2 Move To Tacoma: Will Become Tacoma FC
Tacoma is 41 miles South of CenturyLink Field in downtown Seattle. It has a city population of around 200,000. It’s large enough of a market to sustain a lower division team. It’s close enough to Seattle for the Sounders to grow their brand but far enough away that the people of Tacoma can embrace the team as their own.
“We are absolutely thrilled to be moving forward with the Tacoma Rainiers and City of Tacoma, progressing toward construction of a soccer-specific stadium,” Sounders FC Owner Adrian Hanauer said. He added “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.”
This is clearly a move to to connect the academy with the first team while making all of Western Washington Rave Green. The club will partner with the Tacoma Rainiers, the Triple-A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners. The Rainiers will run the business side of the club. The Sounders will run the technical and personnel side. This is a very similar model to what the Houston Dynamo have with RGVFC.
The Tacoma Stars of the MASL drew around 3,000 fans per match last season. S2 averaged 1,400 fans in 2016 while playing at the Star Fire Sports Complex in Tukwila. The timeline for this move has not been announced as of Saturday afternoon. The future of the Sounders U23 side that plays in the PDL in Tacoma has also not been announced.