It might only be May, but preparations for professional indoor soccer are well underway. The Major Arena Soccer League recently announced that its teams will play a 20 game schedule in the 2015/16 season. That is unchanged from 2014/15. Also unchanged is that the top 3 teams from each of the league's 4 divisions will advance to the playoffs.
There are currently 6 teams in the Pacific Division, including the Stars, San Diego Sockers, Las Vegas Legends, Ontario Fury, Turlock Express, and Sacramento Surge. Last season, San Diego, Las Vegas, and Ontario advanced to the playoffs.
Unlike last year, Tacoma has a full offseason to prepare for professional indoor soccer. They have already taken steps to making the organization more professional. partnering with the Tacoma Rainiers to provide their expertise in running the business side of a professional sports team. Specifically, the Rainiers will assist with advertising, marketing, ticket sales, and sponsorships.
Tacoma business owner John Crouch, who served as the club's General Manager last season, will take on a new role as Vice President of Business Development. Crouch also owns South Sound FC, who competes in the Evergreen Premier League for outdoor soccer and the Premier Arena Soccer League (a developmental league) for indoor soccer.
Former Sounders Academy director Darren Sawatzky will return for his second season with the Stars. This season, he will also serve as the club's General Manager, a role he also holds with Sounders U23 and Sounders Women, which are also co-owned by Stars owner Lane Smith. As GM, Sawatzky will be responsible for signing players and forming the club's philosophy.
The biggest news, though, isn't about the coaching staff, front office, or even the partnership with the Rainiers. The big news that is generating excitement among the club's supporters is the announcement of a lifetime membership the club is calling a "Legacy Membership". These memberships cost $500 each and grant members admission to any Stars game for life. Only 253 of these memberships will be sold, and the first 100 fans to purchase one will be invited to a launch party at a Rainiers game on June 11th. Posts on social media indicate that at least 3 of these memberships have already been purchased by some of the club's most loyal supporters.
If you can't afford a Legacy Membership or aren't ready to make that kind of commitment to local professional indoor soccer, season tickets are also available, ranging from $150 to $250. For $150, you can get either a Reserved or Supporter season ticket. Supporters season tickets come with a free scarf. The season tickets that are selling for $200 are in the best seats in the arena. The $250 season tickets grant access to the club area. With 10 home games on the schedule, season tickets work out to $15 to $25 per match. Group tickets are also on sale for $10 per person for groups of 20 or more. Single-game tickets will go on sale in October.
The Stars will play its home games at ShoWare Center in Kent for the 2015/16 season. The first home game is on November 6th.