Sounders Header NEWS 

From the 5 May Seattle Times:

Area soccer fans kick in support for new stadium. 
Changes help accommodate dreams of big-league games 

Associated Press 

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 Seahawks.

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 standards.

"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 events.

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.

[Front Page]