Meeting Minutes: July 2010

ALLIANCE COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES:
July 2010

(Due to time constraints, this is exactly what individual Council members sent in as comments… no lead in and no editing)

1) Can we vote to have the Match C be a CCL match? This would be a  great opportunity to educate our fanbase on a prestigious competition.

2) Did I miss the golden scarf voting for the Celtic match? Celski is a cool kid, but I thought we decided who got the golden scarf? or is this out the window now?

3) Ensure that the vuvuzela does not take over our great atmosphere…I would like a committment from FO that its not sold in the stadium.

4) In game ads, its a continuing problem as well as the band playing during the run of play.

5) Has the FO solved the “email” issue about only account holders getting FO emails? I know that the owners thought this was a concern, but has there been any progress on this issue?

6) Game day in stadium announcer: can we have him slow down so that the fans can yell the players last name?  It would be very cool imho if he said ” Nate….” and the rest of the stadium replied “JAQUA!”. I also don’t always catch this, but I rarely hear the name of the scorer be announced.

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I highly second number 6…

I  know that was the intent from the beginning of last year, but not sure why it was missed and not followed up on.

Fans would love this and it is a simple, simple implementation.
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Huge backing of #1 from me

When are we getting feedback from Council’s monthly comments?
What happened to the conference calls?  The website still states that we have monthly conference calls.

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Kudos for adding Big Al Brewery to the beer choices at Qwest.  People would love to see even more local beer choices available (Manny’s, etc).  Supporters often complain that you can find many different beers at Safeco, but hate that Qwest is so limited.

I strongly agree with not selling vuvuzela’s in the stadium and encourage some sort of policy to help control their use.

I am also bummed, as are others who stand near me, that commercials and the band continue to play during the run of play.

I would like more feedback/communication from the FO in regard to ideas/issues brought forward from the Council.  Most of our communications have been in regard to which one of us would be giving the golden scarf away.

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– Vuvuzelas.  I hate them- they should be banned, period.  I don’t care if the team sells them, but they shouldn’t be used.-Championship banners.  The top level of American soccer in 1995 and 1996 was the “A-League”, the American Professional Soccer League.  It later merged with the USL. In 95 and 96, the Seattle Sounders were the champions of the A-League. Those banners should proudly hang from our rafters. As far as the other items, we discussed the rhythm of the stadium announcer a while back.  It’s still an issue.  Getting the fans MORE involved in bonding with and cheering/yelling/chanting for our team is a Good Thing.   The announcer skipping opponents’ names because they’re hard to pronounce is pretty lame, too.  (And how tough is “Ki Sung-Yong”, anyway?) The Golden Scarf is not working.  It’s boring, it’s too far before the game, and the system set up to pick recipients doesn’t work for me, either. I say again, make it a more or less replica of the 12th Man Flag deal the Hawks have.  Do it almost immediately before kickoff, up in the spot in the Brougham (south) end of the stadium, and take out all the ridiculous pomp and girls in tight pants.  They’re hot and all, but whatever.  I won’t miss ’em when they’re gone. Instead, just present it, scarves up while the teams shake hands with each other and the ref, and then boom, let’s go with the game.

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–  No more Vuvuzelas.
–  Yes, to hanging the banners.
–  Totally second item #6.
–  Does Golden Scarf need to be every home game?  Maybe just a few select games. And yes presenting right before kickoff would be nice.  No comment on the Golden Scarf girls.  If Golden Scarf will continue then there needs to be some fine tuning of this whole process, hopefully coming up with ideas to making it better.
–  I would like to know the FO’s comments on the issues we have discussed so far and if anything has progressed.
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–  Friendly Match 3 being a CCL match is a great idea, +1. –  I’ve never been a fan of the golden scarf ceremony. At first it was kind of cool to recognize Seattle icons but now it just seems cheesy. I’m all for discontinuing it completely. If this does continue it MUST NOT be right at kickoff. The ECS and the NES do their tifo displays at that time. Some of you may not think it’s that big of a deal but I can guarantee that both those groups do. Tifo is for the players and to get the stadium amped up. I think kick off-timed golden scarf ceremony would detract from that. –  All vuvuselas should be melted down and turned into earplugs to be used while thundersticks are thundersticking. Seriously though, we all watched the world cup and we all know how annoying the bbrrrzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz was. We don’t need that to happen at qwest. –  It would be great if the announcer said the name of the goal scorer.

Meeting Minutes: May 2010

ALLIANCE COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES:
May 2010

Security Outside Qwest – As discussed previously, security outside Qwest needs to be addressed.

–   “ I’m very disappointed to hear about and personally witness that, once again, Sounders fans encountered problems with some of the visiting supporters today.

I specifically stated at our council meeting earlier this year that hostile situations were presenting themselves in Sounders related areas outside the confines of Qwest. Seattle Police/Qwest security/whoever have not had a significant enough presence to prevent these tense moments from turning violent. Luckily –I cannot speak for everyone, but to my knowledge…– nothing has taken a turn for the worse, and we’ve all gone our separate ways without anything more than a few choice words.

Until today.

I’m frustrated and angry that my complaint has apparently slipped through the cracks, especially when I singled out the San Jose supporters as being particularly troublesome. I also thought Gary Wright in particular had taken my warning seriously, but maybe I was mistaken.”

–   “bummed to hear that something went down, but not at all surprised. i walked past these guys about 10:30 with my 4 year old and they promptly told me to “F off” after doing nothing but walk past them. that was a great experience. i then watched them threaten everyone else that walked by we left for a bite. i texted a few people i knew in the march to the match saying that the SJ thugs were sitting there, right at the end of the march, waiting to start some trouble, and it sounds like they did.”

Communications – Is Council’s monthly email submittal the best communication tool?  Several comments received from Council relate to receiving updates or responses from Council’s comments.  We would encourage a more open venue or forum for communications between the Front Office and Council.

–    “We have only received a response from one of our ‘April’ Council comments, related to the Golden Scarf Nominations.  I would like to get more feedback on all the main topics we bring to the Front Office.  There’s not enough information exchange.  I found the most helpful tool from our previous communications (Conference calls) was the exchange of ideas and stated responses to issues we brought to the discussion”

–   “I would like an update on how the decision was made with the horns. Last year we brought it up, and while I haven’t seen any for sale this season, it would be intriguing if the reason had anything to do with what we had said.

An update on Drew’s idea to have sub-accounts for voting rights and email notification.”

Meeting Minutes: April 2010

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).