CenturyLink Field has been the only home that Sounders FC has ever known in MLS, and it will stay that way for an additional 10 years, per a release from the club on Monday.
It was agreed that the Sounders would continue to play their home matches at CenturyLink Field, extending an already existing deal from 2018 to 2028.
Club Owner Adrian Hanauer told SoundersFC.com that he’s excited by the prospect of having his team take the field in front of the fantastic support at its home stadium.
“It’s a huge home-field advantage and we think we can make it even more of an advantage,” said Hanauer of playing at CenturyLink Field. “We think we have growth ahead of us. I’ve never been more bullish on the league and our overall potential, and I think we’ve got enormous upside here in Seattle.”
With the club’s average attendance consistently over 40,000 a match, the goal remains to open up more of the stadium to potential season ticket holders and raise that number even higher.
At full capacity, the stadium can hold around 67,000, which is a number that Hanauer doesn’t deem as unrealistic for his franchise to sell-out on a regular basis.
“We eventually want to sell CenturyLink out every single game,” said Hanauer of his long-term goals. “We eventually want 67,000 people in CenturyLink for every single match and thankfully, we don’t have a 22,000 seat stadium in the suburbs because we wouldn’t have as big as a home field advantage as we do today and we have lots of room to grow.”
Sharing the stadium with the Seattle Seahawks, the replacement of the turf has become one of the most hotly-contested topics up for discussion. Hanauer realizes the importance of a quality playing surface and believes the new agreement should help with that.
“On the turf, we’re excited that we’ll get a new turf field for our 2016 season,” said Hanauer. “Certainly the turf is on its last legs and for us, we’re excited about a new installation. As part of our agreement, the turf will get replaced every four years or earlier – if the two organizations agree – which is a step in the right direction for us.
“I’d be lying if I said it wouldn’t have made us happier to have the turf replaced more often, but we understand that we’re in a multi-sport, multiuse stadium in a long-term lease and in a negotiations like this, you get some of the things you’re looking for and you have to give some things.”
The Sounders will play their first match on the Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field following the extension on March 24 when they host Club Tijuana for an international friendly. You can get tickets here.