SEATTLE (AP) -- The Seattle Sounders have expanded their ownership group with the addition of Tod and Tara Leiweke, the team announced Monday.
Tod Leiweke is the CEO of the Seattle Kraken, the NHL expansion franchise that will begin play with the 2021-22 season. Leiweke was also part of the launch of the Sounders in 2009 in his previous role as CEO of the Seattle Seahawks.
''When Tod and Tara returned to Seattle two years ago to lead the Kraken, I was thrilled on a professional level to have Tod back in the Seattle sports scene, but also, more personally, to welcome back some of the finest, most caring and genuine people I've ever had the pleasure to know,'' Sounders majority owner Adrian Hanauer said in a statement. ''Given Tod's history with the club, I couldn't have been more enthusiastic when the Leiwekes expressed interest in re-involving themselves with Sounders FC on a deeper level.''
Hanauer said the addition of the Leiwekes was finalized earlier this year, but the team chose to delay the formal announcement.
Tod Lewieke left the Seahawks in 2010 to take over as CEO of the Tampa Bay Lightning, before moving back into football as the COO of the NFL from 2015-18. He returned to Seattle in 2018 as the CEO of the hockey franchise.
The Leiwekes are the latest additions to a group that last year purchased a stake in the club previously owned by Hollywood producer Joe Roth. Other part owners in that group include Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson and his wife, Ciara.
''As a family, we have been privileged to enjoy an incredible journey through the professional sports world, but anyone that knows us understands that Seattle is home, and our fondness for Sounders FC runs deep,'' Tod and Tara Leiweke said.
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