Ever since the Seattle Sounders first announced their plans to move their training facility to the site of the former Longacres Racetrack in early 2022, there’s been some speculation that they might also try to build a stadium there.
During a recent interview on Nos Audietis, Sounders President Hugh Weber effectively confirmed those efforts.
“Lumen Field has been a great home, but having a soccer-centric stadium is always the dream of any premier MLS club,” Weber said. “It’s always something we’re contemplating and thinking about. There’s definitely room on the site. There’s a lot of exploration that has to happen in terms of is it even a thing our fanbase would consider a positive? There’s a lot of work to be done. I’d be remiss and not honest if I said we weren’t thinking about it and how we can solve for it.”
Perhaps the key phrase in that statement is “exploration.” The Sounders are most definitely not getting ready to move as much as they are just trying to properly assess the benefits and drawbacks of what would undeniably be a tectonic shift in the way fans interact with the team. They also have a lease that now runs beyond 2028 and is likely timed to the Seahawks' lease that runs out in 2032. The Sounders aren't exactly in a rush to do anything, but this is time well spent figuring it out.
Figuring out where the first team will play league games is just part of the stadium equation, though. Over the next few years, the Sounders are also hoping to find a long-term home for their MLS Next Pro team, which may or may not double as the location for any potential U.S. Open Cup games for the first team.
Here's our attempt at explaining the landscape: