The Portland Timbers are the hottest ticket in town—maybe even in Major League Soccer. And Seattle, long without a team of its own, is taking notice.
On Tuesday, local feather bed magnate Adrian Hanuaer announced to a crowd of reporters outside CenturyLink Field that he and group of corporate shareholders would be bankrolling the city's first pro soccer team for the 2015 season. Their goal? Lure the lucrative Portland soccer fan up the I-5 and into their city.
“This city needs to harness to energy and passion of the Timbers Army,” remarked Hanauer of the as-yet unnamed team. “Frankly, that’s something we don’t have at all.”
Details on the new team were scarce, but Hanauer revealed that he had looked into the game's rules and they would have 11 players on the pitch at the same time, including a single goalkeeper and probably some defenders. He also hinted that they were in talks to bring aboard a head coach who had won some titles a long, long time ago.
"From the Tacoma Dome to the monorail, Seattle has so much to offer to tourists. This is our chance to bring those amazing soccer fans from Portland into our city, into our bars, and into our hearts."
Despite playing in a cavernous NFL-specific CenturyLink Field, Hanauer quickly downplayed hopes that the game atmosphere would match or even come close to the electricity of Portland's Providence Park. Instead, he said, the management will be issuing bullhorns to a tiny "pod" of supporters, passing out lyrics of slightly modified Timbers Army chants, and putting together a top-flight marching band.
"We're getting some really first class brass for this band," Hanauer told reporters. "Seriously, you gotta hear the bass on the tuba. Wowee."
Other incentives include the hiring of local funnyman Drew Cary as a live-in groundskeeper, and full refunds for disatisfied fans.
When asked when a logo and name would be revealed, Hanauer gave no timeline but indicated the management had hired the same respected local design firm behind the recent rebranding of candymaker Skittles.
"We want a color and a brand that evokes the Portland Timbers, and connects to their long history in Portland, but is unique enough to differentiate ourselves," he said. "Definitely something greenish. But like, more pastel."
When pressed to reveal the team name, Hanuaer said he hoped to find a name that evoked Seattle's deep fishing heritage. The name "Orcas" was gaining support among his corporate co-owners, but nothing was decided.
"Our name isn't going to matter," he added. "What matters is that we develop a strong customerbase. If we can even get a sliver of the support Portland has, then we can pretend like we had it all along."
Interested in going? Groupons for the 2015 Orcas tickets are already available here.