Seattle Sounders to end business partnership with Seahawks, will still play at CenturyLink Field
The Seattle Sounders are going their own way.
The club and the NFL's Seattle Seahawks, who have shared business operations since Seattle were admitted to MLS in 2007, announced Thursday that the Sounders will become independent from the Super Bowl champions beginning April 30.
"This is a sensible business decision for our franchise," Sounders majority owner Joe Roth said in a statement. "Our vision is to grow our business to unprecedented levels both domestically and abroad. This move will position us to achieve that goal. The Seahawks have been vital to our early success and we thank Paul Allen and his organization for their support."
Sounders FC began play in March of 2009 and have led MLS in average attendance each season. The franchise currently has 34,500 full season equivalent season-ticket memberships. At the end of the 2013 season, Seattle ranked 22nd in the world in attendance average.
"This is a fantastic opportunity for [owners] Joe, Adrian [Hanauer] and Drew [Carey]," Seahawks president Peter McLoughlin said. "The Sounders will continue to be part of our family as we share CenturyLink Field and will work together on mutually beneficial projects."
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The Sounders will move business operations and full-time business staff to the Pioneer Square neighborhood in downtown Seattle. The team operations and practice facilities will remain at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila.
"This move further demonstrates our commitment to our passionate fan base and our staff," said Hanauer, also the team’s general manager. "We're excited to plant our flag in Pioneer Square and continue to grow our brand under the banner of Sounders 2.0."