The Seattle Sounders are searching for a city to put a minor league team, and Tacoma is the front-runner.
The city hosted an exhibition game against Orlando on Mother's Day last month at Cheney Stadium. Thousands of fans came out for the city's "try out" to demonstrate their enthusiasm about having the Sounders there.
"Tacoma is a spot we've looked at pretty aggressively," said Adrian Hanauer, Sounders owner and general manager.
The Sounders have formed a partnership with United Soccer Leagues to develop a reserve team.
An exhibition game last month against Orlando was a test to see if Cheney Stadium could become its new home. Crews took out the pitcher’s mound and laid sod across the infield for the soccer field.
Although thousands showed up, Hanauer said the stadium is not a perfect fit because it was built to play baseball.
"We do believe we need a soccer-specific stadium, but for sure the fan support is there and it’s a great place for soccer," he said.
According to the team, the games would be cheaper and more family friendly.
Fans like Ryan Clark, 15, would also have better access to players. He and his friends aspire to play for the Sounders one day.
"That’d be cool," Clark said. "It’d make it easier to go to games instead of going all the way to Seattle."
Davis Behnke, 15, says the minor league team would be inspiring for up-and-coming players.
"It’ll give them an environment to see what they can achieve if they worked hard enough," said Behnke.
According to Hanauer, a new minor league team would be a win for whichever city gets it and for the organization.
"Our players that don’t play in the first team games don’t have very many opportunities to play good quality competitive games, and this would help in that endeavor,” said Hanauer.
Everett and Olympia are also being considered as options for the new team, which could take the field in two to three years.