Democracy in Sports photo from The NINETY

photo credit: Karl Picard

By Karl Picard

March 14, 2016

Our last Alliance Council meeting was on 3/1.  We had 15 members attend the meeting and one member that called in.  The meeting started with the AC chatting with Taylor Graham.  The main focus of the discussion was how things went for the Club America match, which was the first home game using the mobile app tickets and other changes.  Overall the feedback from the Council members, based on conversations with fellow fans and season ticket members combined with what we saw on social media, indicated entry and use of the app was pretty smooth.  We did share some isolated issues with Taylor as well.

Security at the Club America game was another matter we discussed, mostly around inconsistencies. This is an area that we are starting to hear more about and are making sure the Front Office is aware of fan concerns.

We also discussed the changes around MatchPass and the fact there are no longer points but rather random drawings or buy it now options for rewards.   They are also using the info gathered from the users of the app and mobile tickets to send targeted emails to Season Ticket Holders (STH). The direct messages were sent prior to the home opener, so you should have seen one prior to  the KC game.  We discussed how there are language options on the Sounders App, including Spanish. Fans who have set their phone to Spanish saw the app in Spanish. Many commented how this was a step in the right direction coming out of the November Annual Business Meeting.

The council spent time discussing app features with Taylor, including the ability to reach your ticket rep during games from the app’s MatchPass Profile page.   The “My Rep” area contains your rep’s email and phone number and even a quick way to add them to your phone contacts.

A question was raised to Taylor about the capping the resale of GA tickets via the Ticket Exchange. He clarified that capping GA resale is not in affect this year but that is being looked into for next year.

A few other items that we’ve made progress towards were around dynamic pricing and the women’s jersey.  The dynamic pricing was discussed and Taylor clarified that this practicehas been in place for a couple seasons now.  Craig Dillon on the Council called out that the ADA tickets seemed to be mis-priced as they were more expensive than those seats around them.  Taylor looked into the issue with the sales team and it has been resolved.  One note, Taylor mentioned that if you are a fan in need they will do all they can to accommodate you.

Stephanie Steiner brought up the subject of our women’s jersey, citing concerns we’ve received over the years regarding the neckline. This  issue got a lot of attention and you should read more about it on the blog.  (We appreciated all the feedback we got via social media around this subject too!!) The Club and adidas™ have heard our concerns and we will keep pushing on this subject to create positive change.

After finishing with Taylor we moved onto the work groups for the year.  The following list captures the areas we are currently focused on but we’ll continue to refine as necessary as the season progresses:

  • GM Recall and Alliance Council Membership Eligibility – finalize the Charter, Bylaws and Constitution so they can be voted upon in 2016.
  • Support Group – clarification on the bylaw and how Support groups are recognized
  • Visibility Group – social media, blog, outreach and charity involvement to ensure the Alliance Council Members know what is happening and that we are positively impacting area charities.
  • Scarf Vote – ensuring the tradition of our Scarf Vote continues for 2017
  • Kit/Jersey – working with the Front Office to ensure fans have a stake in kit designs
  • Annual Meeting – end of year business review operations
  • Seating Expectations – addressing the sit vs. stand concerns voiced by STMs with the FO and Stadium Operations
  • Women’s Attire/Jersey – working with the Kit/Jersey team, but focused on ensuring there are more options for female fans.
  • STM giveaway – explore options to provide to season ticket members including the traditional scarf vs other items

If any of the above areas are of interest to you or you feel like you have something you want to address as part of fan and game day experiences, we encourage you to run for council. The voting and nomination site is up for the Alliance Council; the more people we have the more change we can impact.

That’s all for March.  Continue to provide feedback via Twitter, Facebook or comments on this blog (scroll down to “leave a reply”).