From the 5 May Seattle Times:
Area soccer fans kick in support for new stadium.
Changes help accommodate dreams of big-league games
BY HUNTER T. GEORGE
Olympia - Soccer fans are mobilizing support for billionaire Paul Allen's
bid to tear down the Kingdome and replace it with a new home for the Seattle
Allen says he'll buy the Seahawks if voters approve the $425 million project
in a special statewide election June 17.
With a close vote expected from a skeptical public, Allen is hoping to
pick up thousands of votes by agreeing to relatively minor changes in the
design that would bring the stadium into compliance with World Cup soccer
"I think the soccer community could very well be the deciding vote in this
election," says Fred Mendoza, a King County attorney and longtime soccer
player, coach, and activist.
"It's an outstanding opportunity, and an opportunity that comes along only
once in a while."
National soccer organizations have readily endorsed the plan. And
the Washington State Youth Soccer Association touted the project in its
newsletter to parents and during a recent "soccer fair" in SeaTac.
Mendoza and other soccer enthusiasts have been working for years to build
a soccer stadium big enough to handle local, national, and international
Major League Soccer, the national league that established in 10 cities
last year and is looking to expand, says it will "strongly consider" Seattle
for an expansion franchise. The league boasts that attendance averaged
17,500 a game during its inaugural season.
The U.S. Soccer Federation, which fields the national men's and women's
teams, says it could add Seattle to the list of venues for its "international
friendlies"--games that serve as tune-ups for World Cup competition but
don't count in any standings.