The STATE of Soccer in WASHINGTON
SEATTLE – Feb. 6, 2014 – Seattle Reign FC today announced that they have reached a multi-year agreement with Seattle Public Schools to play their regular season home matches at Seattle’s Memorial Stadium. The venue will also serve as the official training complex of Reign FC. Seattle Reign FC trained and played their inaugural season at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila, Wash.
UPDATE: 2014 season schedule released
Memorial Stadium is a 12,000-seat stadium located on the northeast corner of the Seattle Center campus, with the iconic Space Needle serving as the stadium’s backdrop. Built in 1947, the stadium was dedicated to honor the Seattle youth that lost their lives in World War II. The historic stadium has been the site of many significant moments in Seattle history. In 1962, Memorial Stadium served as the venue for much of the opening ceremonies of the World’s Fair. The venue has played host to legendary music groups such as Pearl Jam, The Grateful Dead, and Bob Dylan. Memorial Stadium was also the original home of the NASL Seattle Sounders during their first two seasons in 1974 and 1975.
“Seattle Public Schools is proud that Seattle Reign FC have selected Memorial Stadium as their home field and we look forward to a long partnership,” said Seattle Public Schools Athletic Director Eric McCurdy.
“This move exemplifies our desire to continuously improve our club on and off the field,” said Reign FC Owner Bill Predmore. “We are thrilled to call Memorial Stadium home and we are excited to build a strong and enduring partnership with Seattle Public Schools.”
Despite Memorial Stadium’s long history, its playing surface is contemporary. Designed by Seattle’s own award-winning firm, D.A. Hogan, the field is built on top of the same Elastic Layer (E-Layer) utilized at CenturyLink Stadium, which provides consistency and shock absorbing properties; the current AstroTurf synthetic field was installed in July of 2013. The fibers utilized in Memorial Stadium’s field are in use on more than 3500 fields globally, including on several fields at Starfire Sports Complex. Reign FC will be painting over the field’s existing football lines, and in doing so will expand the length and width of the field dimensions when adding soccer-specific lines.
Sydney Leroux and Hope Solo had the opportunity to experience a substantially similar playing surface recently when the US Women’s National Team hosted Brazil at the Florida Citrus Bowl, home of Major League Soccer expansion team Orlando City SC. The Reign duo fared well with Leroux scoring twice while Solo made several spectacular saves and was named Budweiser Woman of the Match.
“Everyone at AstroTurf joins me in congratulating Reign FC on this momentous move into the heart of Seattle.” AstroTurf’s Director of Soccer, Anthony DiCicco added, “Our commitment to Seattle Reign FC, Seattle Public Schools and Memorial Stadium is to provide ongoing support and service to ensure that the home field of Reign FC lives up to the high standards set by the organization and Seattle’s renowned soccer community.”
“From a football perspective, the pitch is exactly what we were looking for,” said Reign FC head coach and general manager Laura Harvey. “The stadium itself represents a massive opportunity to enhance the experience we can offer to our fans.”
As part of the partnership with Seattle Public Schools, Reign FC has begun major renovations to two of the locker rooms at the stadium and has started the planning process for many other improvements to the stadium grounds.
The concourse of Memorial Stadium will offer an outstanding match-day experience for all Reign FC fans. Reign FC has partnered with local food truck vendors to enhance the in-stadium food experience at matches. Contigo Modern Mexican andPompeii Wood Fired Pizza will be featured numerous times throughout the season. In addition, Where Ya at Matt—whom The New York Times ranked as the ninth-best food truck in America—will be appearing at the season opener.
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Beer and wine will not be sold during Reign FC matches, as per Seattle Public Schools policy. However, Reign FC is working with local pubs and restaurants to organize and host pre-match events.
Reign FC plans to open only one side of Memorial Stadium for seating during the 2014 NWSL season, setting the maximum seating capacity at 6,000 people.
Grandstand seating – all covered – will be available at three different price levels. In addition, a limited number of pitch-side VIP tables will be available for purchase. Single match tickets in the Premium Grandstand section will be sold for $29, or at a discounted rate of $288.00 for the entire 12-match season. The remaining seats in the grandstand will be split into two sections – Grandstand A and Grandstand B – and single match tickets will be sold for $24 and $19 in those sections, respectively. Season tickets in the Grandstand A section will sell for $228, while season tickets in the Grandstand B section will sell for just $168. Tickets can be purchased by visiting the Reign FC website at www.ReignFC.com.
Fans that purchased season tickets to the 2014 Reign FC season prior to this announcement will be eligible for a full refund if they prefer not to attend Reign FC matches at Memorial Stadium. Fans wishing to request a full refund for their season ticket package should call (206) 330-0611 or send an email firstname.lastname@example.org. A Reign FC representative will immediately process any refund requests.
Reign FC has designated Seattle Public Schools as its Premier Community Partner. As a key component of this partnership Reign FC will be donating tickets to faculty members and parents of students in the District. In addition, Reign FC will provide tickets and memorabilia items that can be used to help raise money to fund District student athletic activities. Seattle Reign FC players and coaches will also visit with student athletes in an effort to inspire students, reinforce healthy behaviors and to serve as community role models.
The stadium’s namesake will be celebrated throughout the season by means of the league-wide partnership between the Army National Guard and the NWSL. The Army National Guard will have the opportunity to host a “Military Night” at a Reign FC match, during which Guard members will participate in the first kick and coin toss, and will also partake in a halftime presentation. The Army National Guard will also have an on-site presence at Reign FC games throughout the season and will receive in-stadium signage at nationally televised games as well as video and public address announcements to build awareness of the Army National Guard’s Grassroots Soccer program.
Memorial Stadium is located at 401 5th Ave. N in Seattle, Wash. The stadium is easily accessible via public transportation as fifteen different Metro bus routes stop at Seattle Center. Additionally, the Seattle Center Monorail operates daily from Westlake Center to Seattle Center.
For fans commuting by car, the stadium is most conveniently accessible via I-5 or Highway 99. Parking will be available to Reign FC fans in multiple locations surrounding Memorial Stadium. On-site parking is available in the Memorial Stadium parking lot at the southwest corner of Republican St. and 5th Ave. N. Additional parking is available at the 5th Ave. N. Parking Garage, located across the street from the stadium at the northeast corner of Harrison St. and 5th Ave. N. on the campus of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. All parking facilities are managed independent of Seattle Reign FC.
The new home of Seattle Reign FC neighbors many other Seattle civic attractions. Seattle Center is also home to the Experience Music Project Museum, Seattle Center Armory, SIFF Film Center, Seattle Opera, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Seattle Children’s Theatre, Pacific Science Center and the Space Needle. Fans interested in dining before entering the stadium can choose from an array of local restaurants and bars within walking distance of the stadium grounds.
“We are excited to welcome Seattle Reign FC to the Seattle Center campus and look forward to watching them march towards a National Women’s Soccer League title,” said Robert Nellams, Director of Seattle Center.
“Our objective since day one has been to become one of the best women’s football clubs in the world. Moving to Memorial Stadium moves us a step closer to creating the foundation that will allow us to achieve that goal,” said Harvey. “We have found a place to call home in the heart of downtown Seattle and we couldn’t be happier about that.”