ALLIANCE COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES:
April 2010

VOTING (One vote per seat) – Council seems to be in support of the ‘one seat, one vote’ idea.  Drew Carey’s suggestions of having a name associated with every seat and vote seemed to be the most favored idea… although, there was still some concern for giving too much control to a corporation or ticket broker.  Ideas varied from having an exception for large ticketholders by giving a percentage vote per seats, or max number of votes (4?) per acct, to using an ‘opt in’ type email address idea.-          “I’m in support of adding a 4 vote limit per account.  I don’t like the idea of someone being able to be overrepresented.”

–          “It seemed to me that the sub-account system that Drew Carey crafted is ideal. It allows greater email access by the club…   it limits the likelihood that brokers and corporate interests flood the Council”

–          “I’m partial towards an opt-in style voting system. If account holders with multiple tickets register a name and e-mail address, and that person confirms this registration (via e-mail I assume), then they receive an additional vote. This can be done as many times as the person has tickets. If the account holder does not have more than 1 ticket, or does not register an additional name to the account, than no additional votes are awarded.”

–          “For large corporations who buy 400 season tickets, is it possible to give them a percentage of account holders based on the number of tickets they buy?  For every 25 season tickets they buy, they get 1 account/vote.  This would be a guideline for big corporations….  For smaller account members ( households who buy 3 or 4) we ask them while they are purchasing season tickets if they intend to share their season tickets or if they would like just one person as the official account holder.  If they … provide the others full names, e-mails, and mailing addresses before the transaction even goes through…  Those who want to have a say will take the time to have more than 1 account/vote.”

–          “One seat, one vote, with a provision that an account holder needs to be a certain age or older- say 14 to 16ish?    Corporate accounts should be prohibited from voting at all.  The Supreme Court might have said that corporations are people and have total free speech and can spend whatever they want, but the Sounders don’t have to…   Truly dedicated soccer fans who are at Microsoft can (and almost certainly do) buy their own season tickets anyway.  They therefore get their vote from there.  I would throw in a provision that if there’s a ‘corporate’ account that was purchased by a group of folks, and they want to convert it to a personal account, that should happen..”

–          “I like giving a name to every seat to enable the change to one seat, one vote.  If a name/email is supplied, more people will be able to participate in ‘Democracy in Sports’ while also becoming more informed.   No need to limit voting age as parents paid for the seat and should still receive the vote.  As well, parents can get their kids involved in the process, if they are interested… wouldn’t want to take Jr. Capo or other young highly involved supporters vote away.  FO really can’t judge who should vote.  Everyone should have the opportunity.”

–          “I think that Drew’s idea from our last meeting would work, but I’m also a proponent for changing to a one vote per ticket system. The issue of large corporations potentially manipulating the councils decisions due to the fact that they would have a vote majority if we went to the ‘one vote per ticket’ system is silly. Yes they would have more votes than any other group of people but that wouldn’t matter because the council would be much larger so their ‘advantage’ would average out. Plus, let’s not kid ourselves, the council has power to make decisions but only the decisions that the FO allows us make.”

AWAY FANS – Council seems overwhelming concerned with keeping seats available for out of town teams, so that there will be seats available to us when we travel.  This year isn’t as big of a concern as next year, when Portland and Vancouver join the league.  Talks with Portland and Vancouver should begin now.

–          “I strongly support accommodating a large number of away fans, so we are treated accordingly.”

–          “I also strongly encourage as many away fans to be allowed in as practical. The LEAGUE needs it. Most of the stadiums are too small for the sport to ever succeed.” –          “This year isn’t an issue for this.  Nobody is going to bring more than 200 fans to our stadium.  What I would like to see (league-wide, actually) is …that every stadium has to set aside at least 250 seats (if they want to do more that’s allowed) and leave them available for sale until 14 days prior to the game, at which point the unsold tickets can be released to the home fans if the home club so chooses. I think the Sounders can lead the way by doing this.  If we’re so sure we’re going to sell every seat for the entire season anyway, then having a couple hundred come onto the market with two weeks to sell them won’t be an issue.”

–          “I would like to get the research/statistics of the number of tickets sold for each team’s visiting fans that came to Qwest per game and number of tickets Sounders fans bought or were put aside for us at away games.  We can alter the number of seats per game we give to visiting teams based on these facts and their factors such as visiting fans’ traveling costs, distance, the rivalry between the 2 teams, and most importantly their fan base… I think it can be predicted easier with the statistics in front of us and help is come to an agreement based on these facts.”

–          “I say the more the merrier. It shouldn’t matter if they can’t reciprocate the number of tickets we provide to them. Some of them can’t even physically accommodate large numbers of people in the stadiums. All that matters is the level of support WE generate. I can tell you from experience, when there is more away support at one of our home games our intensity level rises to the occasion. It’s a pride thing. Just stick em’ all in the 300 level.”

GOLDEN SCARFThe new idea hasn’t been received well.  Even though many agreed to help with the nominations, Council feels the club’s idea wasn’t executed properly.  It has actually become a joke, changing the tradition into something completely different.

–          “I vote to strongly remove membership council from handling the Golden Scarf debacle and nomination.  Too much work and the FO found a way to push off a bunch of crap work, and label it democracy in sports.”

–          “I haven’t heard anyone say much of anything nice about the Golden Scarf this year.  I don’t get why the club is trying to pretend it’s not like the raising of the 12th Man Flag that the Seahawks do when it looks like it was modeled after exactly that.   Not to take anything away from any of the nominees, but the club’s process for the whole thing is a load of crap and frankly I’m not taking part in it.  Had we voted on it and had control over the process instead of it being decided and sloughed off onto us, that would be different.”

–          “I noticed on the Sounders Facebook wall there were long discussions/comments about the Golden Scarf and most said they felt like it was kind of a joke.”

FRIENDLIES – There was strong support that no politically tainted clubs should be considered for our ‘Friendly’ matches.

–          “I would also like to state that the FO should stay away from bringing politically tainted teams to Seattle for friendlys.” –          “I object to clubs that have used bigotry to generate profits from coming to Seattle and play in “friendlies.” The team claims that community is a core value, and for that to be true than the community’s values should be respected. There should quite simply be some standard to be met by teams visiting the community.”

OTHER ISSUES MENTIONED – Several other issues were mentioned, although not enough comments to add as a subject for themselves. –          Horns – “We were once promised that we would hear back on the horns, and whether our words last year had an effect on them being sold/not sold. It would be great to see the results of that.”

–          Alliance Correspondences– “We’re too big for email.  IMO, we should set up our own bulletin board forum.  When it comes to online communication, emails to groups works up to a certain number of people, and beyond that it doesn’t work.  We’re past that number and will likely have a few more members join us this year.
If we want to do it then I can have it up and running within a few or several days.  We can even give Bart and the owners access (read-only if we so choose) to the BBS/forum so they can see what is going on.  Plus we can do polls and votes that way if we want.” –          Beer –          No Ads/band during run of play.  Ads too loud at halftime. –          Cameras blocking some season ticketholders views.

–           Fans wonder why there’s not an extended time clock or if reg. clock can continue to run.

–       Fans wonder why Sounders victory lap starts at midfield.  Some sections feeling excluded (Sections 110-114).