The Seattle Sounders raised and donated over $1 million for small businesses, individuals, and nonprofits located in Lumen Field and its surrounding neighborhoods who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic throughout the 2020 MLS season.
The fund is called the Seattle Sounders FC Relief Fund and amassed $1,104,340 that was distributed to 134 small businesses and 785 individuals. The program also benefited five nonprofits that serve individuals and businesses in the SoDo, Pioneer Square and the Chinatown-International District neighborhoods.
The program began in April 2020 as MLS games went on pause, with the Sounders playing without fans once competition resumed in home markets this past August. The Pacific Northwest club remained without fans at Lumen Field as it reached MLS Cup 2020, with their absence having a far-reaching economic impact on the community. The Hanauer Family provided an initial investment of $500,000 to the fund.
While the Relief Fund is now closed, it helped buoy the Seattle community, particularly restaurants. It supported groups with rent assistance and basic needs, alleviating some expense-related pressures.