After a move to Tacoma and a 2021 season that saw almost half the team’s yearly attendance registered in a Seattle match, NWSL’s OL Reign will be returning to the Emerald City and playing at Lumen Field, home to the Seattle Sounders and Seattle Seahawks.
Seattle Reign FC is one of the NWSL’s founding members, but moved to Tacoma’s Cheney Stadium in 2019 and rebranded as OL Reign after previously playing at Memorial Stadium at Seattle Center. The move to Tacoma was part of a larger plan to build a 10,000-capacity stadium in Tacoma to house OL Reign and Tacoma Defiance (USL Championship matches. But with progress on a new stadium stalled and Defiance shifting down to Division III MLS Next Pro in 2022, it didn’t make much business sense to stay in Tacoma. And a 2021 match at Lumen Field drew a league-record 27,278 fans–a large chunk of the 59,761 fans tallied attending OL Reign games this past season–and with NWSL only increasing in popularity, a move back to Seattle made sense.
“This has been the goal since my first day in Seattle,” said OL Reign head coach Laura Harvey via press statement. “To see how far this team and the league have come in nine years is incredible. We may not have always had the resources, but we always had the vision, the ambition, and the drive to be something special. Coupling the club’s historic DNA with the support that OL provides has resulted in something magical. I am so happy for the players that they’ll finally have the chance to show the city what they can do in a stadium worthy of their talents.”
“We are very pleased that OL Reign will have the chance to return to its original home in Seattle,” said OL Groupe Chairman Jean-Michel Aulas. “The attractiveness of our project in the U.S. comes in large part from our strong belief in the region. It gives us confidence to make substantial investments to grow the club, which we hope will lead to even greater support from fans and from the community.”
Lumen Field will not be opened to full capacity for Reign matches: facility officials and OL Reign will open the stadium gradually, starting with seating on the lower east stadium bowl. Club seating, suites, and other premium seating options will also be available.