Seattle Sounders FC 2 will make the transition to Tacoma in 2018, with the club slated to play its home matches at Cheney Stadium.
In May, it was revealed that MLS’s Seattle Sounders and baseball’s Tacoma Rainiers (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) were planning to collaborate on a new 5,000-seat facility next to Cheney Stadium that would accommodate a Tacoma USL team. The push for a new stadium is continuing, but Sounders FC 2 will make the move to Tacoma ahead of schedule. Under the arrangement between the two entities, Sounders will own the team and supply players and coaches, while the Rainiers will oversee game-day and business operations. Sounders FC 2 is expected to spend at least the 2018 and 2019 seasons at Cheney Stadium, with the new venue being pitched for a 2020 opening.
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“Our organization was already thrilled to be moving ahead with the Rainiers and the City of Tacoma on the new stadium project, but when we learned of the opportunity to begin playing USL games as soon as 2018 in a facility like Cheney Stadium, we embraced the chance,” said Sounders FC Owner Adrian Hanauer in a press release. “From Rainiers leadership to the many civic officials in Tacoma that are working hard to deliver professional soccer to their city, we’re humbled to have such willing partners in this effort. As soon as next season, fans can enjoy a first-class experience at Cheney, allowing the club to make a tangible connection to the City of Tacoma earlier than expected.”
“We are so proud to bring another professional sports franchise to Tacoma,” Rainiers Aaron Artman said in a press release. “To partner with the top soccer organization in the country, the Sounders, adds a layer of passion and prestige to the project, fueled by a vibrant South Sound base of supporters. We are excited to deliver a fantastic USL experience with S2 at Cheney in 2018 and 2019, while keeping our focus on delivering a world class soccer specific stadium by 2020.”
Sounder FC’s soccer operations will remain at Starfire Sports, the club’s Tukwila-based training camp. Seattle Sounders 2 is also expected to undergo a rebrand at some point to receive a more Tacoma-specific identity.
Rendering of soccer at Cheney Stadium courtesy Seattle Sounders FC.
RELATED STORIES: Sounders, Rainiers Reach Agreement on Tacoma USL Team, New Stadium