Gary Wright enters his second season as Senior Vice President after four seasons as the club’s Senior Vice President of Business Operations. In his role, Wright serves as an advisor for all business operations for Sounders FC, including ticket sales, corporate partnerships, community outreach, communications and marketing of the team. In 2009, Wright helped spearhead one of the most successful launches of a franchise in American sports history, as Sounders FC set a MLS season record for attendance with an average of 30,897, and received the Doug Hamilton MLS Executive of the Year award. In the club’s second year, the team averaged 36,173 and earned the Sports Business Journal award for Professional Franchise of the Year. In 2011, Wright was honored as the Executive of the Year at the 77th Seattle Sports Star of the Year Awards, and in 2012 Sounders FC again set a MLS record, averaging 43,144. Wright helped lead Sounders FC to a fifth-straight league attendance record in 2013 with an average of 44,038, including a crowd of 67,385 for the Portland Timbers match on August 25 – the second-largest attendance for a standalone match in league history.
Prior to joining Sounders FC, Wright retired from the Seattle Seahawks after serving the franchise for 32 years, including the final 21 as a Vice President. Wright originally joined the Seahawks in 1976 as director of publicity. He was named public relations director in 1982 and became the team’s very first vice president in 1987. He was chosen by Hall of Famer Steve Largent to be his presenter at Largent’s July 1995 induction ceremonies. Wright assisted the National Football League’s media relations staff at 23 Super Bowls. Upon his retirement, the Seattle Seahawks named the press box at CenturyLink Field the Gary Wright Press Box in his honor. Wright spent two seasons prior to joining the Seahawks as the publicity director for the Southern California Sun of the World Football League and as league publicity director. Wright also served as vice president of operations for the Phoenix Racquets of World Team Tennis. Wright was the sports information director at Long Beach State University and coached football and basketball while teaching history and journalism in high school after graduating from Long Beach State. Wright is also a member of the Glendale College and Northwest Football Halls of Fame, and has instructed sports management classes at the University of Washington and Seattle University. He and his wife, Ann, have a family that includes their two grown sons, Larry and Steve; their wives Katy and Michelle; and five grandchildren, Owen, Fiona, Audrey, Stella and Maxwell.