OL REIGN DEFEAT PORTLAND THORNS/JWS

OL Reign are headed back to Seattle, the club announced on Wednesday, with plans to play at Lumen Field for the 2022 season.

The club had been playing in Tacoma at Cheney Stadium since 2019. Originally, there had been plans for the club to move into a soccer specific stadium in Tacoma, but those plans were halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to that, the team played games at Seattle’s Memorial Stadium.

Lumen Field is currently home to the Seattle Seahawks of the NFL and the Seattle Sounders of MLS.

OL Reign are no strangers to Lumen Field. In August, the club played a MLS-NWSL doubleheader with the Seattle Sounders against their respective Portland rivals. That game drew an NWSL-record 27,278 fans and is the largest crowd to ever watch a women’s soccer match in Washington.

“The growth of the NWSL over the past two years has understandably increased expectations of the matchday experience for our players and fans,” said OL Reign CEO Bill Predmore in a release. “We recognize that we are fortunate to have world-class players on our roster and have always wanted to provide them a world-class stadium in which to play. Our move from Starfire to Memorial, from Memorial to Cheney, our efforts to develop a new stadium in Tacoma, and now our move to Lumen Field are all indicative of a relentless and continuous approach to improving the experience for players and fans.”

“We are thrilled to develop a new chapter of our project at Lumen Field,” said OL Reign COO Vincent Berthillot. “The record attendance at our match at Lumen Field this season showed us that there is deep support for the club in Seattle, giving us confidence that a return to Seattle is the right long-term decision for the club.”

With a maximum capacity of 68,740 seats, different levels of the stadium will be opened as attendance demands it. The club will begin by filling out the lower east stadium bowl.