From: Russell Campbell
Sun, 9 Jan 1994 09:29:27 -0800 (PST)
To: "Christopher S. Allen"
Subject: Sounders posting.
Please post the following for me. I received the letter in yesterday's mail but didn't check the mail box until this morning. My own comments and opinions after the official release can be posted also.
January 7, 1994
Stephen Brezniak, Public Relations Director for the Seattle Sounders, gives Russell Campbell permission to release the following information for his electronic mail network type program.
Here's some great news to start off the new year.
The rumor about the return of the Seattle Sounders is TRUE! Remember the Sounders? They captured the hearts of Northwest Soccer Fans from 1974-83 and were considered one of the most successful teams in the now defunct NASL. Professional outdoor soccer will return to the Puget Sound this summer as the Seattle Sounders will be ready to take the field just after the completion of the World Cup. The Sounders have been back in business since August with an office in Bellevue, WA. In fact on January 3, 1994 the offices were expanded to better accommodate the six staff members.
At this point the Sounders' organization is proud to report that they have been awarded membership into the American Professional Soccer League (APSL) and the United States Interregional Soccer League (USISL).
The Sounders' Board of Director's includes Scott Oki, a retired Microsoft executive Vice President who now runs his own asset management firm, Neil Farnsworth, the Western Region General Manager of Sales in Marketing for Microsoft, Alan Hinton and William Hurme. The Sounders' have also hired a business manager, a marketing director, a marketing assistant, a player development manager and a PR Director. "We are going forward each day with our plans and we feel that this is the perfect time to bring back professional soccer in the Northwest," said Sounders' President Alan Hinton, who coached the original Sounders from 1980-82 and guided them to a Soccer Bowl berth in 1982.
The Sounders are scheduled to make their season debut on July 30th in the Kingdome. An opponent will be announced at a further date.
Hinton will be the chief negotiator/recruiter in player transactions. Since the APSL only allows three foreign players on a 18-man roster, the Sounders are looking to fill their roster with the top US players, especially from the Northwest area. The APSL has seven teams including the Montreal Impact, the Vancouver 86ers, the Colorado Foxes, the Tampa Bay Rowdies, the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers, the Los Angeles Salsa, and the Sounders. Toronto will not have a franchise this season.
The Sounders will play their home games in the Kingdome, the Tacoma Dome and the Memorial Coliseum. Serious plans and talks are underway to build an outdoor stadium exclusively for soccer in 1995 in the Puget Sound area.
If anyone would like more information regarding the progress of the Sounders, feel free to write us at:
1560 140th Ave NE
Bellevue, WA 98005
Phone: (206) 622-3415
Okay, so they're on track. Some additional thoughts based on my phone conversations with Steve Brezniak.
1 - I suspect there is some talk with other groups interested in putting teams in to Rothenburg's planned top division to get them into the APSL for a season first to expand the league and get it firmly established as a solid second division. In no way do I imply here that the APSL has accepted the status of 2nd division but we all know good and well that's what it will be whether they like it or not.
2 - The intent to build a soccer only stadium in this area is real. Tickets for the first and second level in the Kingdome for the Jan 29th meeting of US v Russia are nearing sold out. All the $25 seats are gone and recently someone told me that he'd had to order tickets in different sections to get enough for his group. The $18 and $12 tickets are nearing sellout also. I've been told indirectly that if the first two levels of the dome sell out then they'll open sales for the third level.
I suspect this will happen given the pent up demand in this area for something higher than semi-pro level soccer. If memory serves me correct the first two levels of the Kingdome hold ~50,000. Total dome capacity for soccer is ~65,000. If an outdoor soccer only stadium is built I think it will be a good thing.
3 - the new logo I've seen is good, better than the last one before the club went under in 1983. But not as clearly recognizable as the first one that lasted the first 8 years of the club's history.
4 - Everyone I've talked to about the Sounders return is excited.
5 - The club's goal, as stated to me on the phone, is to play professional soccer at the highest level possible and financially feasible. They hope to be invited to join the top level, whatever form it takes, whenever it's created.