“We are proud to award our 15 said MLS Commissioner Don Garber. “Seattle’s rich tradition of support for major soccer events combined with the ownership group of Joe Roth, Adrian Hanauer, Drew Carey and Vulcan Sports & Entertainment (VSE) were the driving factors in our decision to award this expansion team. The addition of Seattle to MLS provides us with a true gateway to Asia for a sport that is at the forefront of today’s globalization. We look forward to Major League Soccer’s debut in the Emerald City in 2009.”
MLS granted a club to Seattle after securing an ownership agreement with Hollywood movie studio executive Joe Roth, Seattle Sounders Owner Adrian Hanauer, actor Drew Carey and Vulcan Sports & Entertainment.
“As a lifelong soccer fan, player and coach, I have always been an enthusiastic supporter of the sport,” said Roth. “Seattle is the perfect city for a Major League Soccer team. The fans are supportive, progressive and open-minded - just what this great international sport needs. In the Seahawks and Vulcan Sports, we have the perfect complementary partner –first rate professional sports management
and marketing who are committed to the fans.”
Roth is an entertainment executive, producer, director and founder of Revolution Studios, which independently produces and finances films in partnership with Sony Pictures Entertainment, Starz Encore Group and Fox Entertainment Group. In seven years of operation, Revolution Studios has released 47 films, including Black Hawk Down, winner of two Academy Awards.
Prior to founding Revolution Studios, Roth served as Chairman of the Walt Disney Studios, and Chairman of Twentieth Century Fox. During the course of his career he has overseen the production of more than 300 films, directed six and produced the 76th Annual Academy Awards, which received 10 Emmy Award nominations. Roth will be actively involved in club business and operations and will maintain an office at Qwest Field.
Don GarberMinority owner Adrian Hanauer will serve as the team’s general manager and oversee soccer operations. He will be responsible for hiring the head coach, assembling the roster and making player personnel decisions. Hanauer brings six years of general manager experience to his new position. Under his watch, the Seattle Sounders went to the championship match three times in four years, capturing the title in 2005 and 2007.
“I am thrilled about the opportunity to help shape the vision of an MLS team in Seattle,” said Hanauer. “The Pacific Northwest has a long history of successful soccer franchises, from the youth system through the professional ranks. We will continue to enhance and grow the soccer tradition featuring a mix of local and international players.”
Drew Carey is host of the CBS shows The Price is Right and POWER OF 10. He is a long-time soccer enthusiast and is a minority owner.
The team will launch a supporters club patterned after the FC Barcelona model which boasts the largest membership base for a football fan club worldwide. Carey will be actively involved in the club and the overall fan experience.
“I’m proud to be working with forward-thinking people like Joe, Adrian and Tod. And we’re all excited about bringing democracy to sports in America," said Carey.
The MLS Seattle season will officially kick off in April 2009, with a 30-match campaign that will feature 15 home dates taking place at Qwest Field. The upper bowl will be covered to create a more intimate atmosphere. With a seating capacity of 24,500 in the lower bowl, soccer fans will enjoy excellent views in a stadium that was initially built with the highest level of soccer in mind.
“We want Seattle sports fans to experience the world’s game – the passion, the energy, and enthusiasm, all of which will be on display at Qwest Field beginning in 2009,” VSE CEO Tod Leiweke.
Membership (season tickets) deposits of $50 per seat are now being taken. Fans are encouraged to call 877-MLS-GOAL, visit www.mlsinseattle.com, or stop by the Qwest Field Box Office, Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
A deposit guarantees a place in line and priority to purchase MLS Seattle membership for the 2009 season. All deposits will be credited toward the membership purchase. Membership prices and locations will be announced at a later date.
“Qwest Field was built on a promise to the public that it would be a world class stadium for soccer and football and that promise was kept,” said Public Stadium Authority Vice Chair Fred Mendoza. “We also promised the Washington soccer community that we would work hard to bring a Major League Soccer team to Qwest Field and we are here today to deliver on that promise. It is a great day for soccer in the Pacific Northwest.