Seattle Reign FC will play the 2014 NWSL final at Starfire Stadium in Tukwila, Wash., should they qualify for the match.
Memorial Stadium in downtown Seattle, where the Reign are unbeaten at 7-0-3 thus far this season, is unavailable for the August 31 date of the league championship due to a music and arts festival called the Bumbershoot Festival. Memorial Stadium is host to the event’s main stage.
Reign FC played home matches at Starfire in 2013, when a very different looking roster went 4-6-1 at home. Starfire’s main stadium holds 4,500 fans, with potential room for minimal temporary seating. Tukwila, Wash., is about 20 minutes south of downtown Seattle.
Memorial Stadium will host a semifinal match on either Saturday, August 23 (at 1 p.m. ET), or Sunday, August 24 (at 3 p.m. ET or 11 p.m. ET). Seattle already clinched the regular season title and No. 1 seed, so the Reign will play the No. 4 seed. Both semifinals and the final will be shown live on ESPN2. The highest remaining seed after the semifinals will host the
In a release, Reign FC said the club “explored all viable venues for hosting the match.” Husky Soccer Stadium on the campus of the University of Washington is too small, and the field at Husky Football Stadium is too narrow for soccer. Safeco Field, where MLB’s Mariners play, will host the baseball team in a 4 p.m. ET match vs. the Nationals. CenturyLink Field, home of Seattle Sounders FC and the Seattle Seahawks, is unavailable due to football preparations for the Seahawks’ opener on Sept. 4. The NWSL final will be played at 3 p.m. ET on August 31.
“While we have truly loved playing at Memorial Stadium, should we earn the right to play in the championship match we believe Starfire will be a great venue for the game,” Reign coach Laura Harvey said. “We had a great experience at Starfire last season and think the intimate setting can deliver a great experience for players and for fans.”
Last year’s NWSL final in Rochester, N.Y., between the Western New York Flash and Portland Thorns FC, drew 9,129 fans.
According to the Bumbershoot Festival’s website, the event attracts over 100,000 people to Seattle Center every Labor Day weekend.
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