OL Reign will return to the city of Seattle and play their matches at Lumen Field beginning with the 2022 NWSL season, the team announced Wednesday. The stadium, which opened in 2002, also serves as the home of the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks and the MLS’ Seattle Sounders.
Lumen Field sits in the heart of downtown Seattle. The facility accommodates many levels of soccer competition, including Major League Soccer, international, and collegiate soccer. Lumen Field is also under consideration by FIFA and U.S. Soccer as a host venue for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.
“We are very pleased that OL Reign will have the chance to return to its original home in Seattle,” said OL Groupe Chairman Jean-Michel Aulas. “The attractiveness of our project in the U.S. comes in large part from our strong belief in the region. It gives us confidence to make substantial investments to grow the club, which we hope will lead to even greater support from fans and from the community.”
The club underwent a rebrand with the introduction of Olympique Lyon as new ownership, and had been playing their matches in Tacoma, Washington since 2019. It was a move that was meant as an interim solution while a soccer-specific stadium was designed and constructed in Tacoma through a public/private partnership between the Seattle Sounders, Tacoma Rainiers, City of Tacoma, and Metro Parks Tacoma.
The stadium project was suspended in 2020 due to COVID-19, and in 2021, OL Reign revised the feasibility study to assess the viability of a larger, 10,000-seat stadium. Given the results of the revised feasibility study from both a cost and timing perspective, a decision was made to invest in an immediate move to Lumen Field instead as it would give players and fans access to the best possible experience as soon as possible.
OL Reign played in Lumen Field during the 2021 NWSL regular season in August 2021, a 2-1 victory over rivals Portland Thorns FC. A NWSL-record 27,278 fans attended a doubleheader match in which the Seattle Sounders also played.
“The doubleheader was an incredibly emotional day for the entire team, but especially for those of us that have been with the club since the beginning. We imagined the day for a long time, so it was amazing to finally see it happen,” said OL Reign captain Lu Barnes. “The match gave us a glimpse of what our future could be if the team returned to Seattle. We are so happy that we’ll be back in Seattle and playing at Lumen Field.”
Lumen Field has a maximum capacity of 68,740 seats. OL Reign and Lumen Field have agreed to open the stadium gradually in conjunction with the attendance, beginning with seating on the lower east stadium bowl. Club seating, suites, and other premium seating options will also be available.
“This has been the goal since my first day in Seattle,” said OL Reign head coach Laura Harvey. “To see how far this team and the league have come in nine years is incredible. We may not have always had the resources, but we always had the vision, the ambition, and the drive to be something special. Coupling the club’s historic DNA with the support that OL provides has resulted in something magical. I am so happy for the players that they’ll finally have the chance to show the city what they can do in a stadium worthy of their talents.”