This just in from the club:
The Seattle Sounders FC and renowned artist Dale Chihuly will present the Blue Lion Spire, a unique piece of commemorative artwork, to Chelsea FC in a pre-match ceremony on July 18, the team announced this afternoon.
“We are fortunate Dale Chihuly, a world-renowned artist and avid soccer fan, calls Seattle home,” said Sounders FC owner Joe Roth. “He has created the Blue Lion Spire as a perfect complement to the Emerald Spire that Chelsea received during their 2009 visit.”
The Sounders FC and Dale Chihuly have been partners since 2009. Prior to each international friendly, representatives from the opposing team are presented a hand-blown glass spire to symbolize their visit to Seattle.
For the upcoming Chelsea FC match, Chihuly created the striking Blue Lion Spire, based on Chihuly’s Venetian series of hand-blown glass. The artwork, which boasts a royal blue feather in honor of the club’s nickname the Blues, stands approximately 20″ high and measures 6″ in width at its base.
“It was a lot of fun to design and create a new piece of art fitting the European champions” said Dale Chihuly. “I am great fan of the organization and it’s a thrill to partner with them on this exciting project.”
Each year, the Seattle Sounders FC host a prestigious international club team in a top-tier friendly match on the Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field. In 2009, the Sounders FC competed against two European powerhouses, FC Barcelona and Chelsea FC. In 2010, they challenged some of Mexico’s and Argentina’s finest clubs, Chivas de Guadalajara and Boca Juniors, in addition to Scotland’s legendary Celtic FC. In 2011, Manchester United, 11 time English Premier League Champions, visited the Xbox Pitch.