[MLS SPOTLIGHT]The Seattle Sounders and NFL Seahawks, who have shared business operations since the Sounders were admitted to Major League Soccer in 2007, announced that the Sounders' business operations will become independent beginning April 30, 2014.
"This is a sensible business decision for our franchise," said Sounders majority owner Joe Roth 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 [Seahawks owner] Paul Allen and his organization for their support."
The support of the vast staff of Vulcan Sports and Entertainment, the Seahawks' management operation, was critical in the immediate success of the Sounders upon which they've been able to build each year. The Sounders have led MLS in average attendance in each of its five MLS seasons and climbed into the top 25 among the world's best-supported clubs. They currently have 34,500 full-season equivalent season-ticket memberships.
"This is a fantastic opportunity for Joe, Adrian [Hanauer] and Drew [Carey]," said Seahawks president Peter McLoughlin. "The Sounders will continue to be part of our family as we share CenturyLink Field and will work together on mutually beneficial projects."
The Sounders will move business operations and full-time business staff to the Pioneer Square neighborhood in downtown Seattle, only blocks from CenturyLink Field. The team operations and practice facilities will remain at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila south of the city.
"This move further demonstrates our commitment to our passionate fan base and our staff," said Hanauer, 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."