Reports broke Saturday that the Seattle Sounders have reached an agreement with the Tacoma Rainiers minor league baseball team to build a 5,000-person stadium in Tacoma to house the club's USL affiliate.
According the the Seattle Times, the new venue would be soccer-specific and provide a home field to replace their current setup at StarFire Sports Complex in Tukwila. Sounders and Rainiers executives told the Times they're targeting a 2020 completion date.
The hybrid affiliation aggreement, in which the Rainiers would operate the business while the Sounders handled the soccer, echoes that of Rio Grande Valley FC, who are owned by Alonzo Cantu (NBA D-League Rio Grande Valley Vipers) and run by the Dynamo. The Rainiers would rebrand the team as part of assuming business control.
"This is a long game for us," Sounders owner Adrian Hanauer told ESPN analyst Taylor Twellman (watch above), at halftime of today's 1-0 loss to Toronto. "It's about building facilities, building legacy. Not coincidentally, we're really bullish on this league and this sport in this country … There's going to be a lot of wind at our sails in the near future, so we're doubling down. We want to continue to invest, build out the infrastructure and build up the game."