USL News Release
Wednesday, December 17, 2008TAMPA, FL -- United Soccer Leagues announced the launch of the Kitsap Pumas under the ownership of former USL First Division Seattle Sounders co-owner Robin Waite. The team will play in the Premier Development League with professional status beginning in 2009, making it the first professional sports franchise in the area.
Waite will operate the club, created via a transfer of franchise rights from the former Sounders team, on the Kitsap peninsula, a prominent population base in the Puget Sound region across from Seattle, Washington. Centrally located in downtown Bremerton, Wash., the club will play its matches on the pristine grass of Bremerton Memorial HS Stadium. Bremerton is the largest city on the peninsula, housing the massive Bremerton Memorial Shipyard.
The club, following a “Name the Team” contest last month, will feature the nickname of Pumas. Team colors are blue, gold, white and black. The team mascot was affectionately named “Pedro” by local soccer fans.
“We are proud to bring the Kitsap Soccer Club Pumas – the first-ever fully professional sports franchise on the Kitsap Peninsula – to soccer fans in the region,” said Waite. “This has been over a decade in the making – and we could not be more thrilled about the response of the community already.”
USL’s PDL is part of the United States Soccer Federation’s pyramid representing the fourth tier of the pyramid. The club has been placed in the Northwest division and will face clubs from Vancouver B.C., Victoria B.C., Abbottsford, B.C., Seattle, Tacoma, Spokane, Yakima, Salem and Portland, Oregon.
Memorial Stadium Improvements
Another important aspect about the club’s presence will be in improvements the club is making at the stadium itself. Waite, as a donation to the Bremerton School District, has installed a new scoreboard and will further contribute a video scoreboard, additional bleacher seating and other improvements over the term of the club’s three-year lease agreement. The video scoreboard will be the only one of it’s kind in the Puget Sound region – a true asset for the community – and not just relating to sports-specific uses.
Impact in the Community
Club leadership firmly believes that the presence of the Pumas in Kitsap will generate significant incremental revenues and awareness – not only on behalf of team partners, but also for the community and population itself.