RENTON, Wash. — The Seattle Sounders FC unveiled its new training facility Wednesday, ushering in a new generation as the club prepares to celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2024.
The Sounders FC Center at Longacres will be located at the site originally occupied by the Longacres Racetrack from 1933 to 1992 in Renton. The site had been used as an office park for Boeing beginning in 1995.
The state-of-the-art facility will feature four full-size training pitches, split between artificial and natural turfs, and 50,000 square feet of office space. Developers will renovate 41,300 square feet of the already existing 303,000 square foot building. The facility will also include a viewing deck and patio connecting an indoor lounge and the training field. The facility is expected to open in 2024. Unico, the development company, also said they have a 10-year vision for the property that includes 3,000 units of housing.
General Manager and President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey called the new facility “a game-changer.”
“It’s going to take an already good program and light some rocket fuel underneath it,” Lagerwey said in a statement. “It’s the cherry on top. This new facility is going to have all the bells and whistles and really be a first-rate, top-class facility to match not just the ambition of the Sounders, but the ambition of MLS to become one of the best soccer leagues in the world.”
Sounders FC Owner Adrian Hanauer did not rule out the possibility that the Tacoma Defiance, who currently play at Cheney Stadium, would eventually move to Renton. Hanauer also acknowledged having conversations with the owners of the OL Reign of the NWSL. The Reign will play the coming season in Lumen Field, but continue to train in Tacoma.
The opening of the new training facility will coincide with the club's 50th anniversary. To celebrate the club is launching the "March to the 50th" initiative, a two-year plan to look back at the club's history and excite fans for the future.
“From our club’s perspective, the next 50 years of Sounders history start right now,” said Sounders FC Owner & President of Business Operations Peter Tomozawa. “Our new home at Longacres gives us a generational opportunity to not only invest in the organization by developing the most advanced facilities for our players and operations but also to deepen our roots and engage with the community in meaningful and new ways."
The club is opening up a discussion on brand identity and evolution and is looking to hear from fans and greater Seattle and Washington communities.
Those interested can take a survey and contribute to the discussion on the club's website.