The Seattle Sounders are debuting a new training facility in 2024, and they may get a new stadium, too. The Sounders’ training facility in Longacres opens next year. The club claims it will be among the best soccer training facilities in North America. There will be a total of four pitches for the team to practice on. Two of those are natural grass, and two of those are artificial grass like Lumen Field, the club’s current home.
However, the club’s president did not shy away from the possibility of expanding this training facility even further. Team president Hugh Weber spoke to Sounder at Heart about the new training facility that opens in 2024. He says Lumen Field is a great venue. For example, it is one of the host venues for the 2026 World Cup. Still, having a soccer-specific stadium is the ideal situation for any Major League Soccer club.
“Lumen Field has been a great home, but having a soccer-centric stadium is always the dream of any premier MLS club,” Weber said. “It’s always something we’re contemplating and thinking about. There’s definitely room on the site. There’s a lot of exploration that has to happen in terms of is it even a thing our fanbase would consider a positive? I’d be remiss and not honest if I said we weren’t thinking about it and how we can solve for it.”
Seattle Sounders dream of new soccer-specific stadium
Longacres is 13 miles south of Lumen Field. This would be a stark contrast to the Sounders’ current home, which is effectively in downtown Seattle. Lumen Field also has a sensational atmosphere, a trait consistent across Seattle professional sports. Yet, as Weber says, soccer-specific stadiums are all the rage.
Only seven clubs in Major League Soccer do not use a soccer-specific stadium. However, four of those seven, including Lumen Field, make up the four biggest stadiums in MLS based on capacity. The average capacity of the 22 soccer-specific stadiums is 22,140. Yet, Sounders supporters could look at GEODIS Park as inspiration, which has a capacity of 30,000 Nashville SC fans.
If the Sounders’ new area to the south becomes a stadium project, the club would have ample land to build one of the most popular venues in Major League Soccer.
PHOTO: IMAGO / Icon Sportswire
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