Fresh off the team adding 11 new family’s to its ownership group, the Seattle Sounders announced the hiring of Peter Tomozawa as its first-ever President of Business Operations on Wednesday. In addition to being named to this newly formed role, Tomozawa and his wife Donna LeDuc were also unveiled as the 12th new family to join the Sounders ownership. Tomozawa will sit atop the business side of the team’s operations and report directly to majority owner Adrian Hanauer, essentially the non-sporting equivalent to President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey.
Bart Wiley will continue in his role as Chief Operating Officer, a role he assumed in 2014 after being promoted from the vice president of business operations.
Tomozawa, a former Goldman Sachs executive, had most recently helped lead Los Angeles’ successful bid for the 2028 Summer Olympics and Paralympics. He is also a part owner of the NHL’s Las Vegas Knights and has ownership stakes in English Football League teams Swansea City and Barnsley. Tomozawa’s son, who attended Bellevue High School, played for the Sounders Academy from 2014-17, made nine appearances with S2 and is currently on the Stanford men’s soccer team.
Since joining MLS, the Sounders have been one of the most successful teams both on and off the field, They set MLS attendance records during each of their first five seasons and led the league in attendance during each of their first eight seasons. But since setting the league record for attendance for a sixth time in 2015, the Sounders have seen attendance drop during two of the past three seasons. Although they are still easily the second most attended team in MLS, this year they’re currently on pace to fall below 40,000 in average attendance for the first time since 2011.
Tomozawa will surely be expected to help turn around those numbers, as well as help revitalize and enhance current revenue streams. While the Sounders have consistently ranked among the highest spending teams, they’re standing has started to dip, especially in comparison to the likes of Atlanta United and LAFC. In order to keep pace with those teams, Hanauer has made it clear that the business will side will need to increase revenues.