SEATTLE, WASH. – Seattle Sounders FC and First & Goal Inc. today announced a 10-year extension of their existing CenturyLink Field agreement, keeping the Rave Green in their current home through the 2028 Major League Soccer season. The Pacific Northwest's premier outdoor professional sporting venue and one of the top sports destinations in North America, Sounders FC has called CenturyLink Field home since its inaugural MLS campaign in 2009. Since that time, the organization and its fanbase have set an unprecedented standard for soccer support in North America, culminating in the top six single-season attendance totals in league history and an active streak of 109 consecutive MLS sellouts.
"Since the inception of our organization, CenturyLink Field has played a critical role in the growth, development and perception of our club, as has our partnership with the Seattle Seahawks and First & Goal Inc.," said Sounders FC Majority Owner Joe Roth. "CenturyLink Field is a premier facility that gives our players, fans and partners a first-class experience. For these reasons and more, we are pleased to call CenturyLink our long-term home, as Sounders FC continues to set the standard for our sport on and off the field."
Achieving arguably the most successful expansion franchise launch in North American professional sports history, Sounders FC set a then MLS average attendance record of 30,897 at CenturyLink Field in the club's inaugural 2009 season. Attendance within the venue has grown since that first year alongside the club's on-field achievements, resulting in average attendance marks of more than 43,000 fans per home match in each of the past three seasons. Sounders FC finished the 2014 campaign 27th in global average attendance amongst the world's top-tier professional clubs (43,734). To meet demand, the organization has increased its MLS capacity to 39,115 this season from 38,300 in 2014 by expanding seating opportunities to a select area of the 300 level on CenturyLink Field's east side.
"CenturyLink Field has been home to many of our club's most important achievements, including last season's Supporters' Shield-clinching win and back-to-back Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup victories in 2010 and 2011," said Sounders FC Owner Adrian Hanauer. "We are proud to call the venue home, and we look forward to many more milestones and victories in front of our passionate and loyal fans."
Since beginning MLS play inside CenturyLink Field, Sounders FC has become one of the league's elite sides, capturing the 2014 Supporters' Shield as last year's top club in regular season play, in addition to four Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup titles in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2014. Managed by Sigi Schmid – the winningest Head Coach in MLS history – Sounders FC has earned 333 points (95-55-48) since its inaugural 2009 campaign, the league's second-highest total in that span.
"Sounders FC have been wonderful partners and have established themselves as the standard in Major League Soccer," said Seahawks and First & Goal President Peter McLoughlin. "CenturyLink Field is a world-class facility which helps create a great environment to watch soccer."
In 1996, Paul G. Allen obtained an option to purchase the Seattle Seahawks and launched a campaign to win public support for a new football/soccer stadium and exhibition center. Six years later, CenturyLink Field opened in 2002 and is the current home of the Seattle Seahawks and Sounders FC. The stadium complex includes CenturyLink Field and the 200,000 square-foot CenturyLink Field Event Center.
ABOUT SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC
Winner of the 2014 MLS Supporters' Shield and four Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup championships (2009, 2010, 2011, 2014), Sounders FC is Seattle's Major League Soccer franchise. With an ownership group led by Majority Owner and Hollywood executive Joe Roth, Owner and Seattle-based entrepreneur Adrian Hanauer, Owner and Seattle Seahawks Chairman Paul G. Allen and actor Drew Carey, the club received an MLS charter on November 13, 2007 and has reached the MLS Cup Playoffs in every year of its existence. Since the club's debut MLS season in 2009, Sounders FC has set the standard for soccer support in North America, culminating in the top six single-season attendance totals in league history and an active streak of 109 consecutive MLS sellouts. Prior to joining MLS, the Seattle Sounders organization has been a part of the greater Seattle community and U.S. Soccer professional scene since 1974.
ABOUT CENTURYLINK FIELD
CenturyLink Field is a multi-purpose stadium and exhibition center in downtown Seattle. CenturyLink Field serves as the home for the Seattle Seahawks of the NFL and Seattle Sounders FC of Major League Soccer (MLS). It was originally called Seahawks Stadium but was renamed Qwest Field in June 23, 2004 when telecommunications carrier Qwest acquired the naming rights. It was then given its current name in June of 2011 after the acquisition of Qwest by CenturyLink. The complex also includes the CenturyLink Field Event Center, a parking garage and a public plaza.
ABOUT FIRST & GOAL INC.
First & Goal Inc. (FGI) was formed by Paul G. Allen in 1997 after voters in Washington State approved the proposal to build a new football/soccer stadium and exhibition center. FGI was the private partner in the development, along with the public partner, the Public Stadium Authority. FGI now serves as the operator of CenturyLink Field and the CenturyLink Field Event Center.