TACOMA -- The Seattle Reign FC is moving to Tacoma.
The National Women's Soccer League team made the announcement during a joint news conference at Cheney Stadium with Seattle Sounders FC and the Triple-A baseball franchise Tacoma Rainiers.
Going forward, the team is dropping Seattle from its name and will be known simply as Reign FC.
“The name change reflects not just our move to the South Sound, but also celebrates our ambition to represent the entire region,” said Seattle Reign FC owner and President Bill Predmore. “Tacoma will be our home, but we’ll invest significant effort to retain our connection to Seattle and the Eastside."
The team will move its operations to Tacoma and play at Cheney Stadium with the hopes of eventually moving into a soccer-specific facility.
The club spent the last five seasons playing matches at Memorial Stadium in Seattle.
“We spent a lot of time inside Cheney Stadium to imagine the matchday experience we could provide,” said Predmore. “We can say with certainty that the experience our players and fans will have at Cheney Stadium will be an exponential jump from what we could deliver at Memorial Stadium.”
"We genuinely are so excited for this move. We see so much upside and potential.," said star Reign FC player Megan Rapinoe. "Will add five years to my career."
The Sounders and Rainiers previously announced an agreement to build a 5,000-seat facility in central Tacoma on the footprint of Cheney Stadium.
“We are excited to work with the Rainiers and Sounders to help make the new stadium a reality,” said Predmore. “We are the newest citizens of the Tacoma community, so we’ll do everything we can to help the city realize its full potential. We are thrilled to call the city our new home.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.