SEATTLE, WA, February 7, 2014 - At a meeting Wednesday of the Seattle School Board, who controls Memorial Stadium, the final hurdles were overcome and the Seattle Reign of the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) announced a multi-year agreement to make Memorial Stadium their new home. "From a football perspective, the pitch is exactly what we were looking for," said Reign FC Head Coach and General Manager Laura Harvey. "The stadium itself represents a massive opportunity to enhance the experience we can offer to our fans." Reign FC will be painting over the AstroTurf field's existing football lines, and in doing so will expand the length and width of the field dimensions when adding soccer-specific lines.
"Seattle Public Schools is proud that Seattle Reign FC have selected Memorial Stadium as their home field and we look forward to a long partnership," said Seattle Public Schools Athletic Director Eric McCurdy.
Memorial Stadium is a 12,000-seat stadium located on the northeast corner of the Seattle Center campus, with the iconic Space Needle serving as the stadium's backdrop. Built in 1947, the stadium was dedicated to honor the Seattle youth that lost their lives in World War II. The historic stadium later made history when in 1967 it became the first high school venue in the United States to install a synthetic turf field, an AstroTurf system. The stadium would go on to become the original home of the NASL's Seattle Sounders in 1974 as well as destination for legendary artists such as Bob Dylan, Pearl Jam and The Grateful Dead.
Despite Memorial Stadium's long history, its playing surface is contemporary. Designed by Seattle's own award-winning firm, D.A. Hogan, the AstroTurf field is built on top of the same Elastic Layer (E-Layer) utilized at CenturyLink Stadium, which provides consistency and shock absorbing properties; the current AstroTurf GameDay Grass field was expertly installed by Coast to Coast Turf in July of 2013. The XP-Plus slit-film fibers utilized in Memorial Stadium's field are in use on more than 3500 fields globally, including on several fields at Starfire Sports Complex, the Reign's former home (another AstroTurf facility located in Tukwila, Washington).
Sydney Leroux and Hope Solo had the opportunity to experience a substantially similar playing surface recently when the US Women's National Team hosted Brazil at the Florida Citrus Bowl, home of Major League Soccer expansion team Orlando City SC. The Reign duo fared well with Leroux scoring twice while Solo made several spectacular saves and was named Budweiser Woman of the Match.
"Everyone at AstroTurf joins me in congratulating Reign FC on this momentous move into the heart of Seattle." AstroTurf's Director of Soccer, Anthony DiCicco added, "Our commitment to Seattle Reign FC, Seattle Public Schools and Memorial Stadium is to provide ongoing support and service to ensure that the home field of Reign FC lives up to the high standards set by the organization and Seattle's renowned soccer community."
"This move exemplifies our desire to continuously improve our club on and off the field," said Reign FC Owner Bill Predmore. "We are thrilled to call Memorial Stadium home and we are excited to build a strong and enduring partnership with Seattle Public Schools."
As part of the partnership with Seattle Public Schools, Reign FC has begun major renovations to two of the locker rooms at the stadium and has started the planning process for many other improvements to the stadium grounds. The concourse of Memorial Stadium will offer an outstanding match-day experience for all Reign FC fans. Reign FC has partnered with local food truck vendors to enhance the in-stadium food experience at matches. Contigo Modern Mexican and Pompeii Wood Fired Pizza will be featured numerous times throughout the season. In addition, Where Ya at Matt-whom The New York Times ranked as the ninth-best food truck in America-will be appearing at the season opener.
Grandstand seating - all covered - will be available at three different price levels. In addition, a limited number of pitch-side VIP tables will be available for purchase. Tickets can be purchased by visiting the Reign FC website at www.ReignFC.com or by calling 206.330.0611.
Memorial Stadium is located at 401 5th Ave. N in Seattle, Wash. The stadium is easily accessible via public transportation as fifteen different Metro bus routes stop at Seattle Center. Additionally, the Seattle Center Monorail operates daily from Westlake Center to Seattle Center. The new home of Seattle Reign FC neighbors many other Seattle civic attractions. Seattle Center is also home to the Experience Music Project Museum, Seattle Center Armory, SIFF Film Center, Seattle Opera, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Seattle Children's Theatre, Pacific Science Center and the Space Needle. Fans interested in dining before entering the stadium can choose from an array of local restaurants and bars within walking distance of the stadium grounds.
"We are excited to welcome Seattle Reign FC to the Seattle Center campus and look forward to watching them march towards a National Women's Soccer League title," said Robert Nellams, Director of Seattle Center.
"Our objective since day one has been to become one of the best women's football clubs in the world. Moving to Memorial Stadium moves us a step closer to creating the foundation that will allow us to achieve that goal," said Harvey. "We have found a place to call home in the heart of downtown Seattle and we couldn't be happier about that."
About Seattle Reign FC
Seattle Reign FC is one of nine clubs competing in the National Women's Soccer League, a professional league boasting many of the top women's soccer players in the world. The Reign's roster includes several members of the US Women's National Team including Sydney Leroux, Megan Rapinoe and Hope Solo among others. For ticket information or more information about the team, visit www.ReignFC.com.
AstroTurf® was founded in 1965, is based in Dalton, Georgia and is American-owned and operated. The company boasts 160,000,000 square feet of turf in use worldwide and is vertically integrated ensuring the highest standards of performance, quality and durability. For more information, visit www.AstroTurf.com or contact Anthony DiCicco , Director of Soccer, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 860.881.7731.