just what this great international sport needs. In the Seahawks and Vulcan Sports, we have the perfect complimentary partner -- first rate professional sports management and marketing who are committed to the fans."
Seattle has a storied soccer tradition as it was home to the Seattle Sounders of the North American Soccer League from 1974 until 1983. The city currently hosts the Seattle Sounders of the USL First Division. The Sounders have been crowned Champions of the USL First Division two of the past three years including 2007, and have produced MLS players such as Houston's Brian Ching and Chivas USA's Maykel Galindo.
"We're extremely excited about MLS coming to Seattle," said Tod Leiweke, CEO of VSE. "The ownership group assembled represents outstanding business acumen and a long-term commitment to top level soccer in the Seattle community."
MLS plans to expand to 16 teams by 2010 and could feature as many as 18 clubs by 2012. Expansion conversations continue with more than a dozen communities throughout the United States and Canada. Commissioner Garber will discuss each market at his year-end state of the league address on Friday, Nov. 16 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
"I am thrilled about the opportunity to help shape the vision of an MLS team in Seattle," said MLS Seattle General Manager Adrian Hanauer. "The Pacific Northwest has a long history of successful soccer franchises, from the youth system up through the professional ranks. We will continue to enhance and grow the soccer tradition featuring a mix of local and international players."
Seattle's unique demographics make it particularly appealing to MLS. In the past decade, Seattle has seen a major increase in its Asian and Hispanic populations. The city has hosted numerous international matches, including the 1-1 draw between Real Madrid and D.C. United on Aug. 9, 2006 that sold out Qwest Field with the largest soccer crowd in Seattle's history -- 66,612.
Roth is an entertainment executive, producer, director and founder of Revolution Studios, which independently produces and finances films in partnership with Sony Pictures Entertainment, Starz Encore Group and Fox Entertainment Group. Prior to founding Revolution Studios, Roth served as Chairman of the Walt Disney Studios, and Chairman of Twentieth Century Fox. During the course of his career he has overseen the production of more than 300 films, directed six and produced the 76th Annual Academy Awards, which received 10 Emmy AwardÒ nominations. Roth will be actively involved in club business and operations and will maintain an office at Qwest Field.
Hanauer will serve as the team's general manager and will oversee soccer operations. He will be responsible for hiring the head coach, assembling the roster and making player personnel decisions. Hanauer brings six years of general manager experience to his new position. Under his watch, the USL Seattle Sounders went to the championship match three times in four years, capturing the title in 2005 and 2007.
Carey, host of The Price is Right and Power of Ten and long-time soccer enthusiast, will be a minority owner.
The MLS Seattle team will play their home matches at Qwest Field. The upper bowl will be covered to create a more intimate atmosphere. With a seating capacity of 24,500 for MLS matches, soccer fans will enjoy excellent views in a complex that was initially built with the highest level of soccer in mind.
Seattle's name, logo and colors will be unveiled at a later date, along with the coaching staff. Fans desiring more information on the new Seattle Major League Soccer team or season ticket availability should visit www.mlsinseattle.com or the League's Official Website, www.MLSnet.com.