SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC ALLIANCE COUNCIL
August 2018 – 7:00 PM – The NINETY
Call to Order
Call to order 7:00 PM
Present: Nick Biesold, Jerry Neal, Stephanie Steiner, Roberta King, Darla Langdon, Lisa Angeles, Daniel Roe, Nicholaus Biela, Alex Eagleton, Jesse Kilgore, Martin Buckley, Gilbert Ko, Jeff Williams.
No one on phone.
Season Ticket Member Celebration and Renewals – Mikaela Purvis
Welcome back Mikaela!
Renewals: Front Office survey of Season Ticket Members showed that 13% rated some degree of overall dissatisfaction: team performance is first priority and second is match day experience,
Inconvenient scheduling and resell are the new challenges for this year.
Value concession items: the Club is working on concession deals to offer fans at each match, similar to the hot dogs/drinks/popcorn deals that have been offered in the past. It’s possible that there could be a variety. This conversation is in progress
- There are no resell fees through SeatGeek for 2019 for Season Ticket Holders
- Sounders offer AAA services on match day.
- STM can purchase discounted season parking pass
- STM may opt out of scarf and make RAVE Foundation
- 12 month payment plan
- Sounders are looking for a transportation partner
- Some other cool benefits surrounding 10 Years of Sounders in MLS
Green Zone (Hawk’s Nest, North End of stadium) Rows S and higher will be closed next year. Covered in tarp.
– weighted average 1.5 % increase.
– 42.1% of seats sold are decreasing in price or staying flat
– 26.7 decreasing
-15.4 staying flat
There are no increases larger than 3.8%.
Edit preferences 1 August
First payment 4 September
Suggestions from council.
– Allow the fans to know the final price.
– The payments can be adjusted if seats are different price.
Season Ticket Member Celebration:
Save the date STM Celebration August 19 11AM to 2PM
Number one request from fans are photo opportunities and autographs.
Scarf vote: will present the final 5 at STM Celebration – samples of the scarves will be there.
Scarf Vote update (for 2019 scarf)
The plan is to get the choices of scarfs from 42 to 5.
The scarves will be gifted to the final 5. Voting in person through the phone at the event. Trying not to compete with GM vote and cause voters’ fatigue.
Some open brainstorming from council to get more participate:
-links to software to help design.
-student version of Photoshop
-5 finalists get to keep the scarves
-Larger window of time to design
-provide the logo, Sounders FC fonts, etc.: make it easier for non-professional designers without access to that art
-important that it remains ‘from the Alliance Council’ and not commercially sold
Martin showed all 42 entries on-screen.
GM Vote update Martin, Alex, Jeff
– Alliance Council met with Adrian + Garth
2018 Alliance Council Projects
Status and feedback from project leads and sub-teams keep the reviews coming.
Please take picture of food and send to Alex. Alex posted a picture of food on Facebook, and asked people to guess what it was. Different burgers in stadium: John Howie was the worst and cost the most. Alex will send reviews to Taylor and have them forward to First and Goal Hospitality.
Jersey: Jersey team was not given an update, but Stephanie and Martin had a little information. All are frustrated with the lack of creativity pushed upon us by Adidas and MLS.
Adidas is pushing MLS clubs to more and more similarity, yet promoting creativity and edginess but not honoring either. Both Council and Club are frustrated. Alliance Council is considering its next steps carefully.
Match day no update
Sitting vs standing: club making calls to season ticket holders. No one present had received such a call. Council members expressed frustration over not being included in this conversation to solve sitting vs standing.
Travel: still working.
August meeting: will be a working/planning meeting.
SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC ALLIANCE COUNCIL
June 5, 2018 – 7:00 PM – The NINETY
Present (16 of 18): Lisa Angeles, Nicholaus Biela, Nick Biesold, Peter Buck, Martin Buckley, Cameron Collins, Todd Cowles, Alex Eagleton, Jesse Kilgore, Roberta King, Darla Langdon, Jerry Neil, Daniel Roe, Stephanie Steiner, Molly Wagner, and Jeff Williams.
Via telephone (0): None.
Absent (2): Michael Dollard and Gilbert Ko.
I Call to order – Martin Buckley
II Roll – Cameron Collins: 14 of 18 Present
III. Strategy Session on RAVE Foundation with Ashley Fosberg, Executive Director of the RAVE Foundation, and Kinberly Aigner, Director of Community Outreach at Sounders FC: The strategic objective of RAVE Foundation is to lead, serve, and invest in the community.
→ Lead: Drive awareness and engagement around key community initiatives through the sounders brand. This includes sustainability, Give Big, Pride, Special Olympics, and Kick Childhood Cancer.
SUSTAINIBILITY: RAVE is working with Washington Green Schools to aid in sustainability, as well as promote sustainability internally. WGS reaches out to 500 schools across the state and helps school with whatever they want to do to be more sustainable. Internally, the Sounders FO has started a green team that meets monthly with members from each of the Sounders departments.
GIVE BIG: They encouraged players, fans, and staff to select their nonprofits of choice and take action. Seattle Foundation will no longer be doing the Give Big event, this the Sounders FO and RAVE are looking at how to continue to work with nonprofits in a similar capacity moving forward.
PRIDE: They are working to promote LGBTQ awareness and equality in sports. 90% of LGBTQ youth has not had a positive experience in sports. They will work with Athlete Ally to put on a coaching clinic on how to make the locker room and the team an LGBTQ friendly experience. They have also created a Sounders FC GSBA Scholarship, which will give $10,000 a year to their selected scholar. More information available here: https://www.soundersfc.com/post/2018/06/04/sounders-fc-announces-establishment-club-sponsored-gsba-scholarship-through-2020.
SPECIAL OLYMPICS: The Special Olympics USA Games is in Seattle. RAVE will be involved in soccer events at Championship Field at Seattle university and one match at University of Washington. They are looking for volunteers to show up and support the players July 2-5. There are attempting to foster a culture of inclusion. They have a unified team that plays matched against other unified teams, including a match against Portland. More information can be found here: https://www.soundersfc.com/post/2018/05/25/sounders-fc-hosts-special-olympics-unified-signing-day.
KICK CHILDHOOD CANCER: RAVE is focusing on creating empowering & inspirational experiences for kids battling cancer and their families. This year, there is an honorary team captain that walks out with our team captain who is battling cancer or who has battled cancer in the past. Kick Childhood Cancer month is in September. Last year they did the Out for Blood campaign with Zach Scott to get people to donate to Bloodworks NW. They will be doing something similar this year. Sept 4th they will be having blood drives. They will choose 4 Bloodworks NW locations outside of the Seattle area to run campaigns as well. September 29th is our annual Kick Childhood Cancer match.
→ Serve: They are constantly working on how to create a culture of service. Last year they did monthly staff opportunities to serve in the community during work hours. This year they want fans to be involved, so there will be a fan call to action.
→Invest: Sounders invests in our community through RAVE Foundation. Their mission is to strengthen communities and build small fields for free play.
RAVE TARGET NEIGHBORHOODS: South Park, Beacon Hill, Rainier Valley, Yesler, Lake City, White Center, Burien, SeaTac, Des Moines, Tacoma, and Tukwila. There will be one or more programs in all of these communities. The Yesler Field will open this August and the grand opening celebration will be in September. They are also looking in to futsal courts, one of which has already been created at Beverly Park.
RAVE Octagon: Eight sided play space where kids can play. There have funded 2 so far. There are opportunities for partners to be involved with branding.
RAVE Programs. They are planning soccer camps and clinics in communities of need. They will give as many kids as possible a soccer ball. They have also created a Sports Media Institute where kids from RAVE target communities apply to be involved. It includes 20-60 kids. They have also created a Science of soccer program, which uses soccer to teach STEM/science and math subjects. It is a 12 weeks long and based on Washington state requirements and is designed as both an after school and in school program.
IV 2018 Alliance Council Projects
Scarf Vote: They talked to Front Office about our prosed timeline and alterations to the vote. The Club are going to run a traditional scarf vote with voting online and voting in person at the fan event. They are going to start sending out information on how to submit a design in the middle of the month and in early to mid-July the council will narrow them down. On July 19, the top 5 will be shown at the fan event. Announced at Sounders home match on Sept 19th.
GM Vote: Council is meeting with Adrian Hanauer and Garth Largerwey this week to talk about the GM vote and express fan frustrations. Council members will then be able to go forth and speak their mind on what they think about the plans moving forward. We will have a four week voting window from end of September to end of October carried out electronically by a third party so that it is fully auditable. There are two thresholds. For the vote to count, there needs to be a certain threshold of alliance members voting. For this quorum, it needs to be 40% of Alliance Members to be valid. For an action to be taken there needs to be a supermajority of the votes, or 66%. If quorum not met, no action is taken. If supermajority is not met, no action is taken.
10-Year Anniversary of the Alliance: Until the Front Office hires a new person to handle this, we are in a holding pattern.
Away Travel: Nothing to report.
Community Involvement: A few events coming up that line up with the RAVE pillars. July 2 with Special Olympics is one event we are all encouraged to attend.
Food & Beverage: The group is looking for volunteers to taste food. Martin will get in touch with the Club to try and get this going. Anyone who eats the food on the council, please take a picture and write down 2-3 sentences about it.
Jersey Group: We met with the Club and saw the two potential mockups of the 2020 jersey and gave our feedback.
Matchday Experience: No update.
Outreach & Visibility: The group is putting together all of tehir ideas.They have been throwing them out and now need to create overarching goals and make asks of council and Front Office. They will work in tandem with other groups so as to not redo work already being done in other groups.
Youth Outreach: Todd talked with Ashley, Todd, and Taylor, and is working on a meeting with them on working with youth, getting butts in seats, and discussing how the Council can be involved with that. Molly was contact with the Reign and they may be interested in helping with some youth outreach. Summer is a good time to get involved with youth outreach.
Sitting vs. Standing: The Club has started to work on this issue internally. Council has anecdotes and real data and will meet with the Front Office to move it forward. Council Members want Questions about Sitting vs Standing to be a part of renewals. Council President Martin Buckley and Council Vice President Stephanie Steiner expressed their frustrations that Council has not been included in a collaborative conversation on this topic the Council has tried to tackle for many years now.
Moved. Seconded. Council votes unanimously to adjourn.
SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC ALLIANCE COUNCIL
May 1, 2018 – 7:00 PM – The NINETY
Present (14 of 18): Nicholaus Biela, Nick Biesold, Peter Buck, Martin Buckley, Cameron Collins, Todd Cowles, Michael Dollard, Alex Eagleton, Roberta King, Gilbert Ko, Jerry Neil, Stephanie Steiner, Molly Wagner, and Jeff Williams.
Via telephone (3): Lisa Angeles, Jesse Kilgore, and Darla Langdon.
Absent (1): Daniel Roe.
I Call to order – Martin Buckley
II Roll – Cameron Collins: 14 of 18 Present
III. Strategy Session on Marketing and Game Presentation with Todd Albright, Sounders FC Director of Marketing and Fan Experience
Todd has worked for the Club for two years. He originally started as an employee of the Seattle Supersonics. Before he was an employee of the Sounders, he was an Alliance Member.
→ Marketing Goals for 2018: Average attendance was 44,247 per game in 2017. In 2018, the Club is hoping to exceed that number. The overarching goal is to sell out all of CenturyLink by 2026.
→ 2018 Marketing Areas of Focus: The Sounders hope to capitalize upon the World Cup. The team could have up to 4 players playing in the tournament. The Club already has a Sounders in Russia webpage set up and will have World Cup watch parties. They also plan to giveaway trips similar to the Rivalry Road Trip contest they just had to win a trip to Portland for the 100th ever matchup between the Sounders and Timbers. Over half of the people who entered were not Alliance Members. Sounders will also be launching a page to highlight the Sounders/Timbers rivalry leading up to the matches this season.
→ Gameday Presentation: There are some exciting changes coming to the Gameday Presentation. They are going to rework the tunnel where the players enter, allowing more media access to the players as they are about to enter the field. The goal is to have this completed for the Portland match on June 30th. It will be temporary, so it can go in and out for Seahawks game.
Passionate discussion about pre-game happy hour beer pricing in Stadium. The club is missing an opportunity to get people in earlier. New LED boards are going in for the next match. Almost all of the music in the stadium is now from local bands. Members of the Council talked about how much they love Jonathan Wright, the new National Anthem performer.
IV Bylaw 10, Second Reading: As we have been talking with the Club about the forthcoming General Manager vote, the Front Office asked that we more cleanly define who is eligible to participate in the vote under our new Constitution. The proposed new language for Bylaw 10 is as follows:
BYLAW 10. ALLIANCE MEMBER ELIGIBILITY
The Alliance Council may allow additional memberships into the Alliance beyond those members with commercially purchased ticket packages.
10.1 Purchase Price: Membership in the Alliance may be purchased; the price shall be $75 per season.
10.2 Funds: The Alliance Council shall have the right to allocate or use the funds collected for payment to join the Alliance.
10.3 Rejection of Membership: The Alliance Council may at any time create a process to reject or eliminate members who appear to be working against our commitment to protecting, upholding, and furthering the interests of the greater Sounders community.
10.4 GM Vote and Recall voting eligibility:
10.4.1 Eligible Alliance Voters. Only Alliance Members who have purchased Full Season Ticket or Half Season Ticket packages through the Club are eligible to vote in a GM vote.
10.4.2 Ticket Brokers. Club-identified commercial Ticket Brokers are not eligible to vote in a GM Vote.
The Sounders currently have one ticket broker with whom they work. This broker would be the only entity excluded under this new clause.
Moved for a vote. Seconded. Bylaw 10, as amended, passes by a vote of 13-1.
V At-Large Executive Committee Member Election:
With Karl Picard moving to ex officio, the Council has an open at-large Executive Committee position available. A call was made for nominations. Jeff Williams self-nominated for the position and ran without opposition. Jeff Williams becomes an At-Large Member of the Alliance Council Executive Committee for the 2017-18 Council Year by declaration
VI 2018 Alliance Council Projects
Scarf Vote (Roberta King & Martin Buckley): Some proposed changes to how the scarf vote works. It would fall under a new timetable. As in previous years, the Council will run the scarf vote with the Club. This time, the Council will collect the designs and reduce it to the best 4. The Club will get the scarves made so fans can see them at the Summer Fan Celebration.
The schedule has a really short voting window. A proposal came from the Council to have vote in person at Fan Celebration in the summer. This would eliminate any voter fatigue moving in to the GM vote. This idea will be taken back to the Front Office.
Youth Outreach (Todd Cowles):
- Focus:In general, they are seeking a focus around Youth Outreach that: makes a difference / moves the needle for youth in a positive way; is welcomed by the Sounders, providing benefit versus just being a distraction or added work for them; and provides easy and/or energizing opportunities for the Alliance Council and the Alliance to “lean in” and contribute. Members of the group will be reaching out to local clubs and the RAVE Foundation to see what ideas they can bring back to our Club.
- Butts in Seats:There is energy around and visible paths to good possibilities with getting youth/butts in the seats that might not normally be there. There are empty seats available and there are youth (and their families) out there that who, at worst, simply experience a great match, and at best, eventually “join the brand.”
Sitting vs. Standing (Roberta King & Lisa Angeles): Will be working with the Club to get a question on the topic in the end of year survey.
Outreach & Visibility: The Group needs a new leader with Karl Picard becoming an ex officio Council Member. Cameron Collins will be the new group leader.
Matchday Experience (Peter Buck): The group has had internal conversation about the best path forward and will be meeting with the Front Office to discuss.
Community Involvement (Darla Langdon): There are several upcoming opportunities for the Council to volunteer with the RAVE Foundation. June: YouthCare. July: 2018 Special Olympics USA Games. August: RAVE Yesler Field Opening. September: Kick Childhood Cancer Month, Day of Caring with United Way of King County, Rave Green Run, and RAVE One Ball Program. October: Washington Green Schools Project. November & December: Helping families in need during the holiday season.
Food and Beverage (Alex Eagleton & Jerry Neil): The Club heard the requests brought forth by the Council and will be working with a local winery to create a canned sparkling rosé inside the stadium.
GM Vote (Martin Buckley): The group met with Club. The Front Office knows that this is going to be big and will involve lots of messaging and marketing. The Council gave a lot of ideas to the Club that they could use to promote the vote, from paid social to the monthly magazine having a piece. Most of the lifting will be by the Front Office and they are weaving it in to their summer activities to start the conversation in August at the fan event. Mail, Social, in-game, halftime. Voting will open on the 19th of September. Will close on the 17th of October. Big unveil is at Summer Fan Event. Messaging will start in August.
Food and Beverage (Alex Eagleton): The group will be touring the stadium, eating the food and keeping track of the information they discuss. They are unhappy with the rise in beer prices and will continue a conversation with the Club on beverage selection and pricing.
Away Travel (Alex Eagleton): Jeff Williams has joined the group and they are working on ideas of how best to move forward.
10-Year Anniversary of the Alliance (Roberta King & Molly Wagner): With Kyle Sheldon leaving the Club, the champion within the FO for the Anniversary has departed. The Council will need to work with the FO on finding a new point person to carry water from the Club side.
Moved. Seconded. Council votes unanimously to adjourn
June 2018 Meeting Recap
The meeting began with both of our guests introducing themselves to the group and a quick round robin introduction of the Alliance Council to them as well. Joining us was the lovely Kimberly Aigner, Sounders FC Director of Community Outreach as well as Ashley Fosberg, Executive Director Rave Foundation.
Initial start of their presentation was to break down their roles and what the focus pillars are; LEAD, SERVE and INVEST, and the dynamic between their two respective areas of work:
• Kimberly – LEAD & SERVE
• Ashley – INVEST
Discussed new and exciting ways they are wanting to be more focused on our community with key areas that help drive awareness through the Sounders brand. This is partnering with like-minded companies that also have a community focus that reaches out to their key initiatives in place.
These things range from looking at sustainability and how to start within and partnering with Washington Green Schools, providing education & resources in our community schools to become more sustainable and teaching kids how to conserve resources which is amazing at their outreach already! It’ll be exciting to see what our Sounders do with this knowledge. They also have a few key initiatives coming up throughout the rest of the season, some will require a call of action to fans (yeah!!) such as:
• PRIDE- promote LGBTQ awareness and equality in sports- partnering with Athlete Ally again this year to do some fun stuff such as a Coaches clinic to help focus on the fairness and equality on the pitch, the locker room and teams as a whole to be a more LGBTQ friendly experience.
• Special Olympics- USA Games- they are coming to Seattle!! Lots of volunteer opportunities such as Fans in the Stands, etc. will be an amazing experience connecting people of all abilities to show support and have a really wonderful week here in Seattle. Cristian Roldan and Jordan Morris are Special Olympics Ambassadors this year and signed players to contracts even at an event at the Ninety with Coach Schmetzer was in attendance and could NOT have looked more proud of his new team in the photo released by the club.
• Kick Childhood Cancer- this is an MLS wide initiative however I found it interesting that they say- use yellow nets, yellow flags and that’s it- everything else is up to you how you want to be involved or how much you want to bring awareness, which is wonderful because the clubs can do it in their own way. How do the Sounders do that you may ask!? Great question, so far the Sounders have had extensive involvement historically with raising funds and awareness for Childhood Cancer, they currently have a Honorary Team Captain that walks out with the team- gets a shout out and a quick background on why they there on the big screen- this is a child who is either currently or has battled cancer- some TOUGH KIDS which is perfect for them to be with our boys, we are all TK’s. There will be another blood drive in September, last year they did Out for Blood w Zach Scott- this year- he has already racked to the club to be involved so that’ll be no doubt amazing! September 4th they will have blood drives even outside of the Seattle area working with 4 locations of Bloodworks NW. The date of our match for this will be 9/29 to celebrate Kick Childhood Cancer.
Working to create a culture of service such as Give Big, which sadly will not be continuing this coming year so the club is working on figuring out how to do something on their own working closely with our players passions. There will be a call to action of the fans on this- a wonderful opportunity to either donate and / or potentially volunteer!!!
Opportunities for Involvement- Events will be things each month throughout the season-
• Seattle Pride Parade
• Community MVP (Laura Clise was last years pick)
• Fan in the Stands, 2018 USA Games
• Rave Match Celebration
• fun stuff to kids w Cancer- club to announce what that entails
• Blood Drive in the Ninety
• Day of Caring
• Rave Green Run (which the Rave Foundation now runs, and will be in Tukwila!!)
• Blood donation opportunities all month long
• WA Green Schools Service Project- TBD
• Rave soccer ball giveaway events- TBD
November / December
• holiday gift drive for Rave Community School
Strengthening our community by and through the use of soccer.
Got a wonderful update on Yesler Field free play space that will be officially completed in August, ribbon cutting event to be held on September 7th. Other fun and interesting things Rave is doing our communities is:
• Futsal courts- and easy, quick, high impact way to turn a dead play space into something awesome kids can use! Currently have one in Beverly Park and are looking at new areas to convert.
• Rave octagons- pop-up free play spaces, currently have two octagons- always looking for community sponsors to invest in Rave- reach out to Ashley.
• Sports Media Institute kicked off last year- they are actively working on that again
• Sports Science- working with curriculum that meets WA State School curriculum requirements to help teach students STEM Science/ Algebra through soccer (wish I had that in school)!!!
• Strikes with Sounders
• Rave Green Run
• 50/50 Raffle- don’t forget that’s at each match and is $2.00 per ticket!!
• Rave Green Fields- creating green, free play pitches in communities of need throughout the Puget Sound area- this is a lengthier process so other opportunities to help promote strength in soccer are in place- One Ball, the octagons, etc.
Corporate sponsorships, donations are always welcome!!
These ladies are a small, yet mighty team of four—- yes FOUR! They are both heading departments and areas in our communities that do amazing things that our club is passionate about- so back them, support and shout it from rooftops what great things our club is doing, it’s pretty great!
Next up- Alliance Council recap-
• scarf vote- got news and finalized dates for how our scarf vote will go this year which will be 7/19 with the winner being announced on 9/19
• GM vote- 40% of the Alliance members votes need to be done for us to meet quorum and have our votes be valid!! Which means a LOT of people need to actually vote! Any action to be taken needs 66.6% is required for it to be a super majority if we don’t need meet quorum or 66.6% no action is taken.
• 10 Year anniversary- Roberta- no update
• Away travel- Alex- no update
• Community Involvement -Darla- lots of volunteer opportunities that would align w clubs pillars, will send those out but if anyone has a passion they’d like to share- let me know!!
• Food / Beverage- Alex- asked all of us to take a few photos of food eaten at stadium and write a few sentences about it- share w him
• Jerseys- Cameron- met w FO, saw 2 potential 2020 jersey mockups gave feedback- club appeared more welcome for the feedback (yeah!)
• Matchday Experience- Paul- nothing to report- will re-engage with the group
• Outreach & visibility- will be organizing ideas, gathering input from AC to create overarching goals to connect throughout the season
• Sitting vs Standing- Lisa- corresponded w FO regarding potential outreach by club on how to start that conversation w fans in the stands….. this has been a long, long conversation and the data the AC has supports that even a end of year question is a start!!
• Youth Outreach- Todd- talked w Ashley and will be getting a meeting in place w her and Taylor to go over ideas. Molly talked w Reign FC for potential ideas and they might be interested in partnering w the AC to do something
• Meeting summaries- need volunteers!!
Alliance Council Meeting May 2018
First portion of the meeting was from Todd Albright, Director of Marketing and Gameday Presentation. Todd is a good dude, we like him a lot. He has a great job: we’re envious. Normally he comes in and presents with Kyle Sheldon, but that guy quit to go make Oscar-worthy movies (like who would choose that?!). Todd showed us some of the marketing stuff that Kyle (that quitter!) created before he skipped town, and then we moved into Todd’s area of focus. He presented the cool website that they created for the 100th meetup between Sounders and the team to the south: lots of imagery for the less-geeky in the fanbase, video for the geekier, and then lots to read for the uber-geeks. Nick Biela wanted to know if the url would be soundersfc.com/100matches/forc . hahahahaha I said he’d just outed himself as the uber geeky ( I hope that is indeed the url!).
We got details on our new anthem singer, Johnathan Wright (we love him) and how he was discovered.
Todd is working on a project to deck out the tunnel and then bring TV cameras into the tunnel for the walk-out onto the pitch. Some of the sexy details might change seasonally or for big rivalries (remember The Wall for the 40th Anniversary? Something big like that but flexible and built to create hype for our guys and let our opponents know they’re dirt. Maybe we can auction off the ability to type in messages and I can let Giovinco know how I really feel about his whiny antics? No? Well it was a good idea: RAVE Foundation would have made a killing.
Remainder of the meeting: We finalized the revision to Bylaw 10 , elected Jeff Williams to replace Karl Picard (now Ex-Officio) as our at-large member on the Executive Committee, and work group leaders gave updates.
Alliance Council Meeting April 2018
April meeting started with a presentation from First and Goal Hospitality leadership: Executive Chef Michael Johnson, Sous Chef Reid Henderson, and Hospitality Director Abby Hetterich. Also joining us was my representative, Sounders Suite Manager Emily Schultz (aka Shultzy). Not sure we should trust skinny chefs, but it’s hard not to when they put out really good chewy fresh pretzels as bait. Did I mention beery cheese sauce? You might have learned something about me by this sentence – I’m easily led astray. (a word from our sponsor: you should consider running for council now J nominate yourself here . Yes, we do much more than eat, but you already know that.)
Besides all of the snarfalicious distractions, it was a good meeting. Canned rose! DING DING DING: and it will be local! Yes: we brought up beer pricing (I do not expect a miracle here. Why? Because there’s a magic point at which it becomes less profitable, and I don’t think they’ve hit it). But I’ll give them credit for listening to all of the concerns: pricing, labeling and adequate descriptions/training regarding vegan and food allergies, and food quality. First and Goal Hospitality leaders are really good and they are working hard to continuously improve. If you have a challenge, look for someone dressed as a chef.
When we first met with them a year ago they were brand new – the entire entity had only existed for a few months (maybe even weeks). They’d created some really lofty sustainability goals regarding food waste, composting, and the creation of a garden to supply the stadium. Here we are a year later and damn if they didn’t hit all of their goals. My biggest disappointment is that no one knows. I got a little pushy (who me? I know you’re surprised) and suggested that start learning to brag a little better on paper napkins, cups, and the like: most of those say CenturyLink Field. Well do we really need to be reminded of where we are?
In addition to sustainability goals, they’ve made many local community connections; they support women and minority-owned businesses, supply grass-fed and hormone-free beef and pork, and the produce is organic and travels fewer than 25 miles. Whew! That was accomplished in a year. Last year, fewer than 20 products were local, now they’re up to about 85 local items and they continue to expand.
Later this year, we’ll see some Frose (froze zay) show up. Don’t know what that is? Oh honey you don’t know what you’re missing!
Our concern for the rise in diabetes was taken seriously. We had asked for better non-caloric beverages: unsweetened tea will be added as an option.
The next portion of the meeting was the first reading of the adjusted Bylaw 10: essentially, partial season ticket memberships and large, commercial ticket brokers will not be able to vote in GM Vote. Due to the degree to which people have a tendency to be checked out, we felt it was best to prevent any risk that this could cause the entire vote to not count. These types of account holders still vote for scarves.
Group leaders gave quick updates to the rest of council, and then we adjourned.