ALLIANCE COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES:
8/27/09  Conference Call

MLS Supporters Summit and Cup Final
Planning will begin next week between the Sounders Supporters Groups, MLS and Sounders FC in preparation for the Nov. 22nd Cup Final weekend festivities and events. Stay tuned for more details from the Supporters Groups and Alliance Council!

Sounders FC has been in talks with the MLS to find ways to ensure and encourage that Sounders fans show up for the Cup Final and host an enthusiastic, full stadium, to represent Seattle well across the league and finish out our inaugural season strong! It will be Fall in Seattle, so the weather may not be great…but we still need to drag ourselves out of bed and show why Seattle is the best home for soccer in the nation.

We were asked to share any ideas we might have on encouraging local attendance. There is talk of trying to provide a musical act at pre-game or half-time (The Council felt it would take a fairly well-know name to create a real draw). Other ideas discussed were to: encourage people to donate their ticket to a person who hasn’t had the chance to enjoy a game yet, send out a Sounders players to the sections to watch the game with fans, or provide a pre-game festival in the North Lot similar to the Mexico/China match.

Season Ticket Deposits and Renewals

There have already been 6,000 deposits of $50 each put down by those wishing to get season tickets next year. If projected renewals are high, the front office will again be considering the pros and cons of opening up additional seating capacity at Qwest.

There was a great deal of feedback heard by the Front Office regarding the standing or sitting issue early in the season, but they have heard less concern as the season progressed, and renewal preferences may better inform the situation. In general, it appears that the charter-level 100 seats prefer to stand, and club-level 200 seats prefer to sit, with the majority of those preferring to stand concentrated behind the goal ends (with the Supporter Groups), and sitters concentrated near mid-field. If you are an Alliance Member and have a specific seating request for next year, please contact your ticket rep and let them know now, so they can note it on your account, and can work to accommodate your needs. Renewal calls from ticket reps will be beginning very soon.

2010 Sounders Schedule
The good news is, the groundskeepers at Qwest have been able to turn over the field from soccer lines to football lines quickly, and will only get better with time. But, Qwest has an agreement with the city that only allows a certain number of games to be played at the same time as the Mariners. The Alliance Council felt that they were hearing a preference for night games from the fans for next season and passed that along, though again, scheduling for the Mariners and Seahawks will come into play.

While we definitely were given a treat this year with two exhibition games and the Cup Finals, there will be exhibition games included in our season ticket packages next season. After very successful Barcelona and Chelsea matches (with Chelsea speaking well of Seattle on their return), the front office has been hearing interest from other English and Mexican league teams interested in visiting Seattle. In addition, MLS will be watching the 2010 World Cup situation and how it impacts the league schedule. Though most World Cup matches should be airing in the morning (unless on replay), and won’t overlap with evening Sounders games. There might also be the possibility of Training Camp being open to fans next year (similar to what the Seahawks have offered in the past). Council members thought fans would be interested in attending training camp if access was possible.

2010 Open Cup
The conversation continues regarding the use of Starfire vs. Qwest as the location for Open Cup matches next season. While Starfire has parking, seating, access and facility limitations…it did provide an intimate and alternate viewing environment for fans, which many enjoyed. They are looking into getting a better turf playing surface installed, and exploring ideas for solving seating and parking issues. While many on the Council voiced a strong preference for Qwest (as it would likely mean a larger draw), others acknowledged that Starfire had worked pretty well, and Qwest would likely draw around 10,000 fans vs. Starfires 3-4,000.

Miscellaneous
There was additional conversation surrounding the Broadcasters, PA Announcer, all of which will also be considered anew as we approach next year. Plans for the pre-game, in-person Council meeting continue.