Seattle Sounders FC had one of the most successful professional sports team launches in United States history, and it never would have happened without Paul Allen.
On Monday, Oct. 15, Allen died at 65 after complications of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. The investor, philanthropist and sports fan is best known as the co-founder of Microsoft, but he also owned the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks, the NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers and was a co-owner of MLS’ Seattle Sounders FC.
The following statement was released on behalf of Seattle Sounders FC ownership.
“We are deeply saddened to learn of Paul’s passing. We will forever be grateful for his commitment to our city, shaping its growth and achievements. His partnership in Sounders FC helped pave the way for organizational success, and his overall legacy in this community will live on for generations, impacting countless lives in the process.”
On behalf of the Allen family, Paul’s sister, Ms. Jody Allen, released the following statement.
“My brother was a remarkable individual on every level. While most knew Paul Allen as a technologist and philanthropist, for us he was a much loved brother and uncle, and an exceptional friend.
“Paul’s family and friends were blessed to experience his wit, warmth, his generosity and deep concern. For all the demands on his schedule, there was always time for family and friends. At this time of loss and grief for us — and so many others –—we are profoundly grateful for the care and concern he demonstrated every day."
Along with Adrian Hanauer, Joe Roth and Drew Carey, Allen was part of the Sounders’ ownership group that was announced in November 2007. During the inaugural season in 2009, the Sounders became the standard-bearer for the league, reaching the MLS Cup Playoffs, winning the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and setting a new single-season attendance record while playing matches at CenturyLink Field, which is managed by Allen’s First & Goal Inc.
Allen, who was born in Seattle and attended Lakeside School, founded Microsoft alongside Bill Gates in the early 1970s and established the company’s headquarters in Redmond, Wash., in 1986. Microsoft’s game console, Xbox, has been the jersey sponsor for the Sounders for each of their 10 seasons in MLS.