Lumen Field is the home stadium of the Sounders and the National Football League’s Seattle Seahawks. OL Reign normally play home games at the 6,500-capacity Cheney Field in Tacoma, Washington.
The crowd broke the previous NWSL mark of 25,218 for a 2019 match between the Thorns and North Carolina Courage in Portland.
“It’s hard, honestly, to not be a little bittersweet,” said OL Reign forward Megan Rapinoe. “For this to be only the first time that we get to play in a big stadium like this, I just think of what could’ve been.
“Hopefully this is a sign of things going forward. We deserve to play in a bigger stadium. We deserve to play in this stadium,” Rapinoe said.
The previous home attendance record for OL Reign was 7,479 for the World Cup Homecoming match against the Chicago Red Stars in July 2019.
Since the 2019 Fifa Women’s World Cup, a number of NWSL teams have played games at bigger stadiums to feed off increased fan interest in women’s soccer in the United States.
Gotham FC now play full time at Red Bull Arena, the home venue of MLS team New York Red Bulls, while Washington Spirit have played a number of games at Audi Field, the home of MLS team DC United.
NWSL expansion club Angel City FC will play at LAFC’s Banc of California Stadium when the team begins play in 2022.
Elsewhere, Washington Spirit investor Y. Michele Kang is looking to seize control of the NWSL team from majority owner Steve Baldwin, according to the Washington Post.
Baldwin has come under fire following allegations of emotional and verbal abuse by the team’s former coach Richie Burke, who was suspended by the club over the claims. The league is also investigating the matter.
Burke was hired by Baldwin, who previously coached the owner’s daughter, which is at the heart of the issue.
Kang acquired a 35 per cent stake in the Spirit last December and is now looking to acquire majority ownership.
According to reports, Baldwin agreed to sell his stake in the team but has since changed his mind on the matter, creating an impasse.
A number of fans publicly called for Baldwin to sell the team during the Spirit’s home game against North Carolina Courage at Audi Field over the weekend.
Originally published by Sportbusiness.