Area’s newest pro team ready to take the pitch

don.ruiz@thenewstribune.comApril 12, 2013 

Five months after the creation of the club and its league, Seattle Reign FC leaves today for its inaugural game in the National Women’s Soccer League.

The NWSL debuts Saturday, with Portland visiting Kansas City. The other six clubs kick off Sunday, including the Reign at the Chicago Red Stars.

“I think I underestimated the task at hand in so short of a period,” Reign owner Bill Predmore said. “We learned right before Thanksgiving that we had been awarded the franchise, and we had to do everything from getting a business license to getting the phones hooked up.”

The Reign concluded another piece of business Thursday, when insurance provider Moda was introduced as the jersey sponsor. The name will appear along with the Reign crest on home (royal blue) and road (white) kits.

“I’m biased, of course, but I love the logo. I love the name,” Predmore said. “Our original goal was to strike up a partnership with the Sounders and be some derivative of that brand. … I think in the short term we could have ridden the rave-green wave. I think it would have filled the stands more quickly than having a new brand. But I think long term (our own identity is) actually better for the sport.”

Predmore said he was disappointed with ticket sales so far. He would not reveal numbers but said he thinks his club is on pace with most of the league, although behind the “spectacular” pace being set in Portland.

“We have not done a great job of building awareness of the club out there,” Predmore said. “People are still figuring out who the Reign is, what we’re all about.”

Awareness could build when the Reign plays at Chicago, Portland and Kansas City before its home opener May 4, when FC Kansas City will visit Starfire Sports Stadium.

The club also could get a boost in performance and publicity around midseason when U.S. national team members Hope Solo and Megan Rapinoe become available.

Don Ruiz: 253-597-8808 @donruiztnt

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