Local ownership group takes over the Tide and Sounders

By Volcano Staff on November 9, 2011


Tacoma Football Club announed the transfer of ownership of the Tide and the Seattle Sounders Women to a new local group. Tacoma Tide FC of the Premier Development League and the Seattle Sounders Women of the W-League have been purchased by Lane Smith and Cliff McElroy, with former owner/operator Mike Jennings maintaining a minority stake. The United Soccer Leagues (approved the sale of the teams yesterday.

No word yet if Costco had anything to do with the sale. Here's the rest of the press release:

"We are coming on board with the goal of growing these two teams and establishing an even greater connection with their communities," says Lane Smith. "The Tide and the Sounders Women both represent a strong work ethic as well as stepping stones on the path for our local players in their soccer careers."

McElroy says the new group promises to work hard for and with local soccer supporters. "The Tacoma Football Club looks forward to the opportunity to increase engagement of the Sounders Women and Tacoma Tide into the Puget Sound community. We plan to work hard to bring more fan and youth involvement as well as business ties to these two local teams and expand the Pacific Northwest's storied Football tradition. "

Lane Smith is a Tacoma native employed as a sales executive with the Hewlett Packard company as well as a local real estate investor. Lane has been the lease holder of the Tacoma Soccer Center for the past six years and recently transitioned the soccer operations to a non-profit entity. Lane sees a great opportunity for collaboration of the youth and adult players at the Tacoma Soccer Center and the Sounders Women and Tacoma Tide. Lane is a life long recreational soccer player and a executive board member of the Boys & Girls clubs.

Cliff McElroy is the President of Datec Inc, a systems integrator and value added reseller located in the Pacific Northwest. Datec provides data center solutions, LAN, WAN and VPN, application optimization, global availability, data center power, backup recovery, IT Cost Visibility, storage, security, compliance and wireless applications.

Cliff is originally from Kentucky where he attended the University of Kentucky and is an avid college basketball fan, enjoying pick-up games in the local area when he's not attending his daughters soccer games. Datec is a suite season ticket holder for the MLS Seattle Sounders.

Tacoma Tide FC were established by Mike Jennings and Pat Garlock in 2006. The club has competed in the Premier Development League (PDL) Northwest Division for the past six seasons, finishing first in 2008 and qualifying for the playoffs twice. The Seattle Sounders Women were founded in 2003.

They were added under the Tacoma Football Club banner in December of 2008 and are annual playoff contenders.

Mike Jennings has owned and operated the Tide since its inception in 2006. "I am excited to have Lane and Cliff make this commitment," says Jennings. "Lane is a Tacoma guy. He wants to see soccer flourish in South Sound. Cliff has a daughter who plays soccer and he has been a supporter of the Sounders Women." Jennings will be a resource the majority partners can call upon. "I will be around when the new guys have questions about running the teams. I hope to add local knowledge and offer insights to the teams as they evolve going forward."

Smith and McElroy invite Tide and Sounders Women fans to post their thoughts and ideas about the 2012 seasons on their respective Facebook pages. Fans can also visit www.TacomaFC.com and www.SoundersWomen.com to watch for future news and announcements.