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Providence Swedish Performance Center & Clubhouse drives commitment to community and excellence

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Seattle Sounders FC unveiled the name for its new world-class training facility on Thursday: The Providence Swedish Performance Center & Clubhouse.

As the headquarters for both soccer and business operations, the Providence Swedish Performance Center & Clubhouse is the physical manifestation of the club’s commitment to community and excellence.

Following extensive research and discovery connected to the vision of the 150+ acre campus, the training facility’s name was carefully selected to reflect those values and draw upon the legacy of the land.

“We believe we are all Sounders, and that the world’s game should be open and accessible,” said Sounders FC Chief Marketing Officer Taylor Graham. “The Clubhouse is rooted in that same sentiment. This is a place to congregate and convene our fans and community through a shared connection to soccer and the Puget Sound.”

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Located on the site of the historic Longacres Racetrack, the new name of the training facility draws inspiration from the former sporting venue. Longacres, which operated from 1933-1992, was a vibrant and immersive experience for fans of sport. It comprised of three spaces: the grandstand, paddock and the clubhouse. In particular, the clubhouse was centered on inclusivity and accessibility, inviting fans of thoroughbred racing to meet the jockeys and interact with the horses.

The Sounders adopted “Clubhouse” into the name for their new training facility to reflect the club’s dedication to being a communal asset and creating a space to connect with the club.

“The Longacres clubhouse was a place full of energy, deeply rooted in community, open and accepting of everyone, that thrived on sport and competition,” said Kenny Alhadeff, grandson of the founder and Senior Vice President of Longacres, who worked on the grounds for 30 years. “It’s great to see this legacy live on through soccer and the Sounders.”

“When we discovered that our building was on the exact footprint of the Longacres clubhouse, it felt like a piece of the legacy of the land that we could resurface and celebrate,” added Graham. “And our Clubhouse is rooted in the same approach, with the intent to serve all of our key constituencies, especially our fans, members, players, staff, alumni and partners.”

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Phase one of opening the training center was getting it operational for players and staff back on February 13. Today’s announcement marks the beginning of phase two, which is dedicated toward creating opportunities for fans and members of the community to see and enjoy the space. 

Twice per month, all fans will be welcome to visit the Providence Swedish Performance Center & Clubhouse to watch the First Team train, meet players and coaches and receive autographs.  

“This is a space that we can program and invite people to come visit and further their connection to the club,” said Graham. “The vision of this place is to further our commitment to excellence and serve our community simultaneously. This is a long-term process, but part of this announcement is following through on a commitment that this is a home for our club, and our club absolutely is centered around our fans.”

Now in year two of a community-centric partnership with Providence, the training facility will serve as a vehicle for further investing in holistic health of middle and high school students, particularly in the Renton School District.

“One of the things I’m most proud of in the past year is the work we’ve done with Providence and the Renton Public Schools to address gaps in mental health services on campus,” said Chief Operating Officer Maya Mendoza-Exstrom. “We were able to serve the entire school district in middle school and high school in just our first year. That was possible because all parties were committed to a high standard of excellence.” 

The Sounders have worked with Providence to host numerous school assemblies focusing on the importance of removing the stigma of mental health. In August, they offered free physicals for all Renton School District student athletes and their families, removing a barrier to play for those who don’t have healthcare or access to a doctor. The two organizations also recently launched a program that offers free virtual therapy to all 15,500 students in the district, with over 1,300 visits utilizing those services within the first few months.

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The club will also pilot a field trip program for schools to visit the Providence Swedish Performance Center & Clubhouse this year, beginning with two themed around environmental sustainability and mental health. Additional programming includes free-play days at the fields for youth from underserved communities, themed soccer clinics and panels for students with Sounders players and medical professionals. 

“Our partnership with Providence is rooted in community and our shared commitment to serve the mental and physical health of students in middle and high school,” said VP of Social Impact & Executive Director of RAVE Foundation Ashley Fosberg. “This facility gives us the platform to continue to grow that investment in the community year over year and make a meaningful impact.” 

The “Performance Center” portion of the facility’s name reflects the club’s commitment to excellence. The facility provides the players and staff with the resources necessary to build off the foundation 50 years of success across every era of American soccer.

“The investments in the facility make it possible for each and every player to have everything that they need so they can focus on playing soccer,” said Mendoza-Exstrom. “It raises the standard of excellence. This is a club that wants to win championships every single year.” 

“The space first and foremost is built to facilitate excellence for the next five decades,” added Graham. “It has all of the performance, recovery and soccer spaces needed to build off that amazing foundation. When you walk in, you see a 50-year-old club that is building for the next 50 years, committed to excellence on and off the pitch.” 

Above all else, the club believes that these two pillars of excellence and community are intrinsically linked. By working alongside Providence and the Renton School District, the club can use this space as a communal asset to reach new heights on and off the pitch. 

“Excellence and community are not mutually exclusive,” noted Mendoza-Exstrom. “Excellence in the community is critical.”

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