Submitted by We R Tacoma

A $1-million gift from the Tacoma Rainiers will support the creation of a new sports enterprise management program at UW Tacoma’s Milgard School of Business.

“We’re honored to help the growth of the Milgard School of Business, especially in a way that will give more students the skills and experiences needed to excel in today’s sports industry,” said Aaron Artman, President of the Tacoma Rainiers. “The Milgard School has a reputation for innovation, and we’re anxious to see how the program will expand diversity among sports leaders.”

Stan Emert, director of the UW Tacoma Center for Leadership & Social Responsibility, has been named by Milgard School of Business Dean Howard Smith to lead the start-up phase of the sports management program.

“The Milgard School is very fortunate to have a leader of Stan’s caliber and polish at the helm of our fledgling sports management program, said Smith. “He is the perfect choice to create a winning proposition for sports enterprises, UW Tacoma and Milgard School students, and our community.”

The gift to UW Tacoma comes on the heels of major new investments in South Sound professional sports. Together with Metro Parks and the City of Tacoma, the Soccer Club of Tacoma (the joint venture between the Tacoma Rainiers and Seattle Sounders FC) has completed a study that highlights the feasibility for major facilities development on the footprint of Tacoma’s Cheney Stadium. The project would include a new professional soccer stadium and an adjacent 60,000-square-foot sports medicine center operated by MultiCare Health Systems with the potential for additional mixed-use development.

Playing in the new stadium will be Tacoma Defiance, USL Championship affiliate of Seattle Sounders FC, and Reign FC, the National Women’s Soccer League team featuring world class female athletes, including 2019 World Cup Champions Megan Rapinoe and Allie Long. Both clubs currently share Cheney Stadium with the Rainiers.

“The time is now and the place is here for sports management education in the Pacific Northwest,” said Emert. “We will provide students a close and comprehensive educational collaboration with professional, collegiate and non-profit sports organizations along the I-5 corridor.

The program will launch in autumn 2019 and provide students a close collaboration in both professional and non-profit contexts. The initial focus is on the development of new courses leading to a certificate in sports management. The first course, called “Essentials of Sports Enterprise Management,” will be taught by Emert with classes held at Cheney Stadium. The course is open to all current UW Tacoma students. A non-credit version of the course that would be open to the community is under development.

“Our partnership with the Tacoma Rainiers is critical to the success of our program,” said Emert. “As Tacoma’s stature as a sports town grows, in both professional and non-profit contexts, our students will have hands-on access to some of the nation’s most creative front-office operations, at the major, minor and collegiate levels.”

With additional fundraising, future phases of program development may see the establishment of degrees at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

About Cheney Stadium

Cheney Stadium is the home of the Tacoma Rainiers, Triple-A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners, as well as two soccer clubs: Reign FC of the National Women’s Soccer League and Tacoma Defiance, USL Championship affiliate of Seattle Sounders FC.

About the Milgard School of Business

Established in 1994, the Milgard School of Business at the University of Washington Tacoma offers a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration, a Master of Accounting (MAcc), a Master of Business Administration (MBA), a Master of Cybersecurity & Leadership, and a Master of Science in Business Analytics. 

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