The Seattle Reign women’s soccer team is relocating to Tacoma. The team, which will now just be called Reign FC, will play its 12 home matches in Cheney Stadium during the upcoming 2019 season. The National Women’s Soccer League team majority owner Bill Predmore made the announcement at a press conference Wednesday.

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Reign FC forward Megan Rapinoe told the press conference crowd on Wednesday that she is excited to play in Tacoma. Photo by Shawna De La Rosa.

The team’s former home, the 71-year-old Memorial Stadium in Seattle, needs too many upgrades, Predmore said.

“Memorial Stadium was our home and had some challenges that all of our fans were aware of,” he explained. “The success in what we are doing is really built around a facility being the right fit for our team.”

The team will train on the Foss High School field.

Eventually, Reign FC will play in a proposed new 5,000-seat soccer stadium, which is currently under review in a feasiblity study. The likelihood that the stadium will come to fruition made the decision to move down to Tacoma easy, Predmore said. If approved, the soccer facility would be located between Cheney Stadium, Foss High School, and South 19th Street. It would be a joint venture between the Sounders FC, the Tacoma Rainiers, and Metro Parks Tacoma.

Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards, who was also present, said she is hopeful that upon completion of the feasibility study there will be a new stadium in Tacoma for professional soccer.

In addition, MultiCare Health System CEO Bill Robertson announced that the organization will build a 60,000-square-foot medical facility as part of the proposed development. It will focus on community health needs and sports medicine and be integrated into the stadium.

In another piece of news at the press conference, Aaron Artman, president and owner of the Tacoma Rainiers, announced the Seattle Sounders’ USL franchise, formerly known as S2, has been renamed Tacoma Defiance FC.