Alliance Council have been notified of a few issues with the move to SeatGeek. We spoke with the Front Office and have received additional details around the rollout and the plan for the coming months.
As announced in September, Sounders FC will be partnering with SeatGeek as their primary ticket partner
Since this is a new system, all season ticket members will have to “link” or setup and account with SeatGeek
The Sounders legally cannot transfer credit card information to the new system or create passwords for you, so the club cannot do this for you. (This is a good thing!)
Those who are on the 50/50 or 6 part payment plan need to link their accounts by Friday, December 29 as the next payment in January will be processed in SeatGeek.
Those who are paid in full will link their accounts in January and will have additional communications around that.
All members are required to link their accounts and input their credit card information to successfully set up their account for the 2018 season
If this is not completed by the deadline, it risks delay in season ticket package and receiving access to digital tickets
In terms of ticket delivery methods, you can still access the tickets through the Sounders FC app. The main change you will notice is instead of Ticketmaster Account Manager to print/forward/resell your tickets, you will have SeatGeek Account Manager, with similar and improved functions.
Have questions? Running into issues? First point of contact is to reach out to SeatGeek at 888-444-9028 or email [email protected] and they will assist you. Your Sounders FC ticket rep is always able to help as well.
Hopefully this helps with the transition to SeatGeek.
As the Alliance Council, representing Alliance Members and fans of Seattle Sounders FC, we recognize and celebrate the diversity of our communities.
Alliance Council and Supporter Groups have worked closely with the Sounders FC throughout the years around the fan experience inside and outside of the stadium. We gave our strong opinions back in September following a series of incidents. We know that Community is important to all of us, and we continue to have a regular face-to-face engagement to advocate for and represent all fans.
We have seen how Alliance members and fellow fans have not been treated as expected – both at home and last weekend in Vancouver, BC. As fans we have been left frustrated, angry and confused at the vacuum in communication around these serious issues. We encourage all Sounders fans to respect and support each other as a community.
Alliance Council recognize our Club Ownership and Front Office for their continued support – both visible and otherwise. We applaud our Ownership in issuing a jointly signed, though delayed, statement of values: “At a human level, we believe these values to be non-political. Speaking up for equality is simply the right thing to do.” We believe their statement was originally intended to be stronger, and we believe the dilution and the delay to be caused by MLS decision-makers.
Alliance Council look beyond our Club to Major League Soccer to provide a clear statement of values that recognizes the diversity of the fan base. The silence in this matter is deafening, disappointing and cowardly. The decision made to eject our fans last Sunday was wrong, and the silence surrounding the decision is wrong.
Soccer is a global platform of inclusion and unity, and even a common language. Soccer is love, passion, and lifelong devotion. It is these commitments that create the very foundations of Clubs around the world that have existed for more than a century. Fans first, MLS. Fans first.
STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC OWNERSHIP A public statement from Seattle leadership following Sunday’s Western Conference Semifinals first leg in Vancouver
For Immediate Release: October 31, 2017 Contact: Alex Caulfield, 206-512-1225
SEATTLE, WASH. – On behalf of its Ownership Group, Seattle Sounders FC today issued the following statement on the heels of Sunday’s first leg of the 2017 MLS Western Conference Semifinals:
“Seattle Sounders FC is aware of the events that occurred within the club’s supporters’ section during the first leg of the 2017 Western Conference Semifinals at BC Place on Sunday evening, where two travelling supporters were ejected for holding a sign that read: ‘Anti-fascist, anti-racist, always Seattle.’ We would like to reassure our fans that both the league and our club believe strongly in inclusion and acceptance. Tolerance and inclusiveness are pillars of our society, and ideals we take seriously as an organization. At a human level, we believe these values to be non-political. Speaking up for equality is simply the right thing to do.”
Present (14 of 16): Nicholaus Biela, Nick Biesold, Martin Buckley, Cameron Collins, Mike Dollard, Alex Eagleton, Roberta King, Darla Langdon, Jeremy Monsivais, Karl Picard, Daniel Roe, Stephanie Steiner, Kristina Vaughn, Jeff Williams and Steve Wilson.
Via telephone (0): None.
Absent (2): Bill Kaczaraba and Karl Picard.
I. Call to order – Stephanie Steiner
II. Roll – Cameron Collins: 14 of 16 Present
III. Lamar Neagle and Head Coach Brian Schmetzer visit the Council: Council Members were able to ask questions and spend time with the coach and Lamar.
IV. Council Members-Elect
Several People who have been elected to next year’s Council have asked if they can sit in on this year’s council to start getting involved. They would come in as volunteers to start engaging on projects, but would have no ability to vote. This would be inviting these individuals for this year only, and does not set a precedent for future councils having to follow suit.
Martin Buckley proposes that the Council maintain the ability to ask these individuals leave for a portion of a meeting should something sensitive or confidential need to be discussed.
Moved and seconded. Allowing Council Members-Elect to attend the remainder of this Council year’s Council Meetings passes unanimously by a vote of 14-0.
V. Stars for All – Martin Buckley
Martin spoke to Sounders COO Bart Wiley for a long length of time, and we believe the Stars for All issue has been solved. There were three main concerns we needed addressed as part of the Stars for All campaign: (i) stars on all jerseys for this season, both replica and authentic, (ii) stars on jerseys moving forward, whether silver or gold and silver; and (iii) stars for all the other teams in Major League Soccer as well.
(1) Stars on Jerseys for this Season: We were able to achieve this goal earlier in the season.
(2) Stars on All Jerseys in Future Seasons: Whether silver or both gold and silver, the club has agreed that it will provide Stars for all jerseys in 2018 as well. It will purchase the necessary stars and make them available to local mom and pop stores, if required, so that they can take part in providing stars on jerseys for their customer. This will likely only be an issue for the 2018 season, as there may be a new solution beginning in 2019, as per conversations with the Club.
(3) Stars for All Clubs: The Sounders have agreed to support any other MLS club who wishes to put stars on all of their jerseys in the same manner that the Sounders have. While the club in question would have to do so on their own, the Sounders will provide all necessary information to such a club as to the process they went through to order and distribute Stars to fans’ jerseys.
VI. 2019 Sounders Kit: The Council had previously provided feedback to the club on what they thought the direction of the 2019 kits should go. The Council were shown the inspiration for the jersey at this meeting. This information is confidential.
VII. Revisiting the Recognition Brainstorming Project – Stephanie Steiner
The Council reviewed a compiled list of a list it had anonymously brainstormed of “What reward would each Council Member give to the Member to that Member’s right?”
VIII. Revisiting Food & Concessions – Alex Eagleton
Alex, along with many other members of the Council, feel that the concessions have not lived up to the expectations that were set for the Council at the beginning of the season. All of the food has also suddenly changed with the start of the Seahawks season. Alex is going to start doing “Food Tours” around the stadium and blogging about his food and beverage experiences.
IX. Scarf Vote Results – Kristina Vaughn
Winner of the scarf design was scarf #1, City of Seattle. It received 45.3% of the vote. It will be announced at halftime of Sunday’s match. The Council suggested to the Front Office that the scarf have a star on it, and while many in the front office agreed, the Marketing Department decided that it would not have a star. They have ordered it with no star.
Moved. Seconded. Council votes unanimously to adjourn.
August 1, 2017 – 7:00 PM – RAVE Green Conference Room
Present (12 of 16): Nicholaus Biela, Martin Buckley, Cameron Collins, Alex Eagleton, Bill Kaczaraba, Roberta King, Darla Langdon, Jeremy Monsivais, Daniel Roe, Stephanie Steiner, Kristina Vaughn, and Jeff Williams.
Via telephone (0): None.
Absent (4): Nick Biesold, Mike Dollard, Karl Picard, and Steve Wilson.
I. Call to order – Stephanie Steiner
II. Roll – Cameron Collins: 12 of 16 Present
III. Council Initiatives
A. Constitution Vote – Martin Buckley: The Alliance-wide vote on the new Constitution has concluded. The Constitution was approved by the Alliance in a weighted vote of 96% in favor of the new Constitution and 4% opposed to the new Constitution.
→ Cameron Collins asked what the process would be now that S2 season ticket holders are now members of the Alliance under the new Constitution. Martin stated that, as this was approved mid-season, next season they should enjoy full member rights.
B. Scarf Vote – Kristina Vaughn: Kristina thanked all involved in the Scarf Vote Group. There was very little turnaround time, but running the vote on our own website made it a seamless process. Vote is now live and will be sent out as part of renewals.
When an Alliance Member renews, they’ll get an email telling them to vote for the scarves. On August 14, a link to the vote will be sent to everyone that is a designee and/or has yet to renew. The Council were then shown the final five scarves that will be voted upon by the Alliance.
C. Council member Rewards – Stephanie Steiner: On the survey given to Alliance Council Members, which was discussed in the July meeting, current Council Members said they were not on Council to receive “stuff.” But that doesn’t help the Council figure out what to offer as rewards. Thus, Council Members present were presented with a new survey to fill out on what do we think the person to our right deserves as a reward. This will help the Council approach the Front Office with ideas, and there will be a meeting of the minds on things they can offer us of which we are currently unaware.
D. Survey Results from Current Members – Stephanie Steiner: Overall, there was a lot of discussion of Constitution, but we are done with that, so it should rarely come up. There are some issues that could be addressed moving forward, but they are small changes that don’t require the kind of overhaul we just did.
→ Questions include:
What do you like most about serving on the Alliance Council?
What motivates you to do work for Alliance Council?
What would help us get more projects completed?
What would you like to do next year?
What is your wish list?
One major takeaway was that it may be worth rethinking how we interact with one another. If a Council Member is in a group and are not hearing from others in the group via email when attempting to have discussion, there is a list of members and their phone numbers on our Google Drive that can be utilized. Council Members must be more proactive.
IV. Monthly Call with Front Office & Meeting with Gary Wright, Sounders Consultant and former Sounders Senior Vice President – Stephanie Steiner & Martin Buckley
A. Monthly Call: The call focused on the relationship between the Front Office and the Council and how to make it as productive as possible. It was a robust conversation and Martin and Stephanie voiced the wants and needs of the Council.
B. Meeting with Gary Wright: Gary has been very responsive to working on the relationship between the Club and the Council. This conversation focused on that relationship, challenges, and an Alliance Member concern regarding diversity.
V. Open Conversation
A. Food & Beverage – Alex Eagleton: Alex has made an effort to eat at many places around the stadium, and the food lacks quality. Cameron Collins spoke on the limited vegetarian and vegan options being worse than before, despite promises to the contrary and Martin. Alex also has found that while they claim to have many different drink options, that often the specialty options, especially in beer and wine, are not ready during the match or not available at all.
B. Ticket Renewals – Dan Roe: An update from Dan on news concerning ticket renewals.
→Pricing: 75% of tickets are going up in price. 25% are going down. Those tickets closer to the center line and closer to the field will now be more than those that are not in those locations.
→Section 100NA: The upper portion of section 100 has typically been non-alcoholic. The Club has contacted the 13 season ticket members currently sitting in that section to see if they truly valued the section being non-alcoholic. The overwhelming majority said it did not make a difference to them, so, in order to sell out that section, the Club will be removing the NA tag and allowing alcohol in that section. They are looking to advertise it as a more family friendly section, however.
→ ECS & resale: ECS has requested that members not sell their tickets for more than face value. The club has crafted language to help message that to people with season tickets in the section, and will allow for people to move if necessary. The statement will read, “The ECS supporter sections are priced in a way to ensure affordable ticketing options are available to those wanting to join the supporter culture. Members within these sections are asked not to sell tickets for more than the single match price. If you disagree, relocation is always an option.”
→ S2: For the 2018 season, the south side will not be available for season ticket purchase at S2 matches. Due to attendance in past seasons, the focus will be to fill the North Side to increase matchday atmosphere. This will also increase efficiency from a staffing perspective so the Club can provide the best matchday customer service. There are 9 season ticket members affected by this change and they will receive priority relocation to make sure they find satisfactory seats for next season. Cameron Collins lamented that, with the move, he is sad that he will no longer be sitting by coach Schmetzer and won’t hear his running commentary on the game.
→ Visiting Supporters: Visiting supporters will no longer sit in section 203. Instead, qll visiting supporters will be placed in Section 300/301/302, where Portland and Vancouver supporters are already seated.
Moved. Seconded. Council votes unanimously to adjourn.
Very recently the Sounders’ Front Office announced on a joint call with MLS and adidas’ committee regarding championship stars, that regardless of the 2017 MLS Cup match outcome, all Sounders jerseys will have access to stars earned.
Here are the details:
Since we got involved and began applying pressure in this conversation, MLS and adidas agreed that they could work stars into the production of 2019 kits, but gave us lip service about the “complications,” of anything for 2018. This came in a letter from MLS’s Chief Legal Counsel that essentially told us to shut up and go away, if they had anything to communicate, they’d do it via the Club.
I made the request that they put the desires of the fans first, and consider that after-purchase heat application can be a viable solution for any club. We followed up with the Club consistently only to learn that a committee had been formed. There was “no news” for a long time.
On August 20th of this year, the Alliance Council had our summer meeting with owners and leadership, and I inquired about the status of the star situation. It was reiterated that 2019 kits would be covered: since nothing was manufactured, production could accommodate championship acknowledgement* on authentic and replica jerseys. Next, a new complication: MLS had expanded their investment into retail by vastly multiplying their contracted retail outlets and were worried that if only some stores could heat apply stars and others couldn’t, those stores which couldn’t would return the jerseys they ordered, and this could hamper the relationship they’d just built with these new small stores. My view: MLS is putting the relationships with stores ahead of the relationship with fans. I called BS.
I said that the small retailers who’d just partnered with MLS were either capable of heat application or they were not capable, and they were already aware of their capabilities because they either have the equipment to heat apply names and numbers to jerseys, or they don’t have the equipment. So for them to get into business with MLS and reject jerseys over a star is a ludicrous idea. What was really going on here is that MLS and adidas were fully aware that those small stores know whether or not they can heat apply stars. What they were counting on is that I wasn’t aware enough to figure that out. It was just another line of crap.
Image from YouTube
Based on the lack of supportive developments from MLS, I let the Sounders owners and leadership know that we intended to go forward with our plans to protest (Sounders were/are not the target and I also made sure I was clear to reinforce that). I was done with MLS and adidas putting more reasons for not honoring fans into a conversation that never should have been necessary to begin with: they caused the problem, and they continued to cause more problems in our request that they solve the issue they created. I have zero confidence that they ever approached this from the perspective of “fan first.” They never even included a fan representative on the committee.
Bart Wiley, COO, represents the Sounders on this committee. He let us know that he’d be on a call with the rest of the group in early September. Martin Buckley, Vice President of the Alliance Council followed up with him on Tuesday and learned that Bart announced on the committee call that Sounders FC will acquire starsfor all 2018 jerseys purchased through our official team stores and our partner stores, regardless of the plans made (or not made) by MLS and adidas. This is big.
Now: what about everyone else? We said we were in this for all championship winners, not just us. We requested and received a commitment from Bart Wiley that our Club will assist any other club that wishes to do the same. It was our hope that MLS and adidas would step up, but they didn’t: I’m proud of our Club.
At this point, we will not proceed with our plans to protest: we’re calling this a win for fans. Early this year, Taylor Graham wanted me to explain what our protest plans were. I declined and said instead when this was resolved, I’d buy an adult beverage for him, Bart, Doug Orwiler, each of the owners, and Martin Buckley – and I’d explain the details of the protest they had avoided. My offer still stands.
We have way too many people to thank individually:
First, we all need to thank Bart and the front office leaders at Seattle Sounders FC who stood up for us fans in this conversation when MLS and adidas shut us out. The Sounders have many reasons to keep a strong relationship with both of those entities and they chose to put fans first. Bart Wiley made the announcement, and I’m sure there were more people involved in the decision.
Next, I want to thank all of the attorneys who said yes to supporting us “ACLU style” when I asked them to buff up on protestors’ rights and be present on the day, in case legal minds were needed to remind cops and stadium security that all was legal.
I send very special and whole-hearted thanks to the other clubs across the league that were willing to join and get their fans on board. Many clubs have won; all clubs have the possibility of earning that star. We were never in this just for ourselves and knowing we had the ability to create a visible protest in multiple cities on behalf of all fans and all clubs is tremendous.
Of course, I thank all of you who met us at Fuel or joined in when I asked for your help on social media: it shows the love and commitment you have for your Club, your Crest, and your Championship. It matters.
Last, but never least: we all need to thank Martin Buckley for his diligence, thoughtfulness, and (for me!) keeping me out of jail.
*There’s a rumor going around that 2019 championships (and beyond) will be recognized with an emblem other than a star. Because MLS. As a fan, I think it’s absolute marketing garbage. As the President of the Alliance Council – this is not our fight.
Alliance Council have been working directly with the Sounders FC around the entire fan experience since before the first game of the season.
The multiple changes for entry to CenturyLink Field, the move to clear bags and limits on sizes of purses have presented many challenges. We continue to present our experiences and concerns to the Club – and encourage all fans to report issues as they occur. Please stay in touch with your ticket representatives and provide details of any concerns or issues (time, gate, person’s name if possible).
We are fans too. We enter the stadium through the same gates and experience the same security teams. During the season we have seen a repeated lack of consistency in the application of gate policy. As stewards of the fan experience we have collected this repeatedly and brought it to the Club.
This past weekend many of our fans reported a range of unsatisfactory experiences. Yes we listened,yes we flagged these immediately post game with our Front Office representatives.
As fans we won’t see the inner workings of the Club. This is similar to an iceberg. We see the ten percent above the waterline.
What we do know is that the Club is listening to us all – Alliance Council, Supporter Groups, and every individual fan who provides feedback. We expect our Club to always celebrate and support the diversity of the fans and our broader community.
What we expect from our Club and the stadium at this time is inclusive, welcoming and consistent treatment for everyfan. At the gates. Inside the stadium. Every time.
“Seattle Sounders FC and Century Link Field are aware of fan-related ingress complaints over the last several matches. Both sides are working collectively to identify and address these concerns.” – Seattle Sounders FC and CenturyLink Field
Present (13 of 16): Nicholaus Biela, Nick Biesold, Martin Buckley, Cameron Collins, Mike Dollard, Alex Eagleton, Roberta King, Darla Langdon, Jeremy Monsivais, Karl Picard, Daniel Roe, Stephanie Steiner, Kristina Vaughn, and Jeff Williams.
Via telephone (1): Bill Kaczaraba
Absent (2): Nicholaus Biela and Steve Wilson.
I. Call to order – Stephanie Steiner
II. Roll – Cameron Collins: 13 of 16 Present
III. Ticket Renewals: Mikaela Purvis, Director of Membership Engagement & Retention
A. Retention → Their top goal is retention. They hope to increase ticket member retention by enriching the ticket members’ lives and creating moments through soccer. The goals break down in to six areas: 1) relationship with club, 2) customer service, 3) sales, 4) engagement, 5) events, and 6) benefits.
a. Relationship with club: Focus on creating camps and other opportunities for kids and the community; supporting the supporter groups and the Alliance Council; and the matchday experience.
b. Customer service: Focus on reactive problem solving and proactive communication.
c. Sales: Focus on referrals, group premium outings, and upselling.
d. Engagement: Focus on social media, rewards, touchpoints, and “wow moments.”
e. Events: Focus on access to players and bonding with other fans.
f. Benefits: Focus on savings, access, and rewards/experiences.
B. Midseason Survey: The Club sent out a mid-season survey to Alliance Members to see how they are using their benefits, what their satisfaction is with benefits, and the likelihood that they would renew.
a. The top 3 benefits were Options to Resell, Alliance Member Scarf, and Pro Shop Discount.
b. People were highly satisfied with mobile ticketing.
c. People were satisfied with the Alliance Council.
d. The only area of dissatisfaction was Matchpass Perks. Only about 25 to 30% of Alliance Members use their Matchpass Perks and people are primarily entered in to random drawings.
e. Although people aRe fond of their Alliance Member Scarves, the Club liked the opportunity the Council proposed where Alliance Members could forego their scarf, donating its value to charity. In 2018, this opportunity will be available during renewal. Decisions are for the entire account; Every ticket must give up the scarf for the entire account. All donations will be used for Rave Foundation’s soccer ball program. Delta Airlines will be matching the donations. The Council would like the Club to ask Delta Airlines if they can also match Alliance Member donations directly to Rave Foundation, as a Member may not want to forego their scarf.
C. Season Ticket Member Celebration: on August 13th, the Sounders will be having an event at CenturyLink Field from 11 am to 2 pm to celebrate the fans.
D. Autorenewal: a large percentage of accounts are still set to opt-in, but following this renewal period, every account will be set to autorenewal. With autorenewal, if you choose not to renew, you simply fill out an online form that deals with the process.
E. Renewal Process: The renewal period is August 1-September 1. Relocations will take place September 11-29. Must have renewed current location to be eligible for relocation. Playoff Tickets & new sales will take place in October.
F. Sitting vs. Standing: The Council brought up the perennial topic of Sitting versus Standing. The current conversation has been that the Sounders do not want to dictate whether a section sits or stands. It is majority rules. If the majority choose to sit, it is a sitting section. If they choose to stand, it is a standing section.
a. The issue that several members of the Council raised is that in the stands, as a practical matter, it is “monkey see, monkey do.” People do not necessarily know they have the ability to have their section be a sitting section, and if people in the front row stand, it means everyone will end up having to stand.
b. Because everyone believes they have to stand, how will the Club communicate that this is an option? Could a survey be part of the renewal process?
c. A survey could potentially show that this is not a major issue, that it is a vocal minority who raise the issue.
d. The Council noted that the Club would likely worry that asking as part of the renewal process could open a can of worms and set the expectation that change is coming, and that there would need to be a plan in place on enforcement in a section. Currently, in the Club sections, security handle the issue when someone stands in the sitting sections. The Front Office will discuss this matter further.
IV. Alliance Council Survey
Martin Buckley Alliance Council Members from 2015 – 2017 were asked to take a survey on what they thought the Council did well, and what they thought could be improved. The survey had a 74% response rate. The focus was on perception, open-ended responses, improvements, areas of strength, and areas of weakness.
A. Would you recommend joining the Council? Common themes included historical tedium of the Constitution, Front Office perceptions, Council Member expectations, and Work vs. Fun. People either loved or hated being on Council; there was very little in-between.
B. Alliance Council on the Front Office: Three years of the Alliance Council spoke and felt that the Front Office did not take the Council seriously, primarily treating the Council as a focus group rather than as a partner. Roberta gave the historical perspective that in the beginning, the relationship was very adversarial, so the Council got off on the wrong foot from the outset. The feeling was that it does seem to be getting better.
C. What would make the Alliance Council better? There was a wide range of ideas on how we could improve. The main takeaways were outreach so that the Alliance could know more about Democracy in Sports, having a budget to help with independence and potentially forming a non-profit, and better follow up from the body of the Council.
V. Council Initiatives
A. Scarf Vote – Kristina Vaughn & Roberta King: It is coming up quickly. All members of the committee should be ready to vote because it will require a quick turnaround to narrow all of the entries down to the five that will be presented to the Alliance for a vote.
B. 10-year Anniversary of the Alliance – Roberta King & Bil Kaczaraba: Roberta presented that she has made an outline of topics and requested volunteers to work on the project. The work will include writing articles, filming interviews, and more. Bill and Roberta will be collaborating with President Steiner on how best to move the project forward.
C. Constitution Vote – Martin Buckley: The Alliance-wide vote on the new Constitution is ongoing. Thus far, of those who click through to the Alliance Council webpage, 60% follow through to the voting site.
V. Monthly Call with Front Office
Stephanie Steiner and Martin Buckley had their monthly scheduled call with the Front Office. In the call with the FO, they focused on their frustration that the email sent to the Alliance about Constitution Voting being live had a subject line about Bowling with Players. Many people did not even open the email because of that headline. More traffic came to the Alliance Council webpage than came from twitter than came from their email. If Democracy in Sports is going to be a pillar of the organization, they need to treat it as such, rather than as a pillar of marketing. Stephanie and Martin also expressed the Council’s frustration that the Constitution vote did not receive equal billing with the Rave Foundation’s bowling event in an email nor in the stadium. The Club interpretation was that in our relationship we have very high highs and very low lows. We need to work on the low so that they do not happen in the future. They understand that the Council relationship with Gary Wright has been created to help improve the relationship between the Club and the Council.
VI. Open Conversation
A. Council Tables at CenturyLink Field: In August, we have the opportunity as a Council to have tables on the concourse at two matches: 8/12 & 8/20. We will use the opportunity to promote the Alliance Council and create more visibility, as well as promote the Scarf Vote.
Moved. Seconded. Council votes unanimously to adjourn.