SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC ALLIANCE COUNCIL
February 7, 2017 – 6:30 PM – The NINETY
Present (11 of 15): Nicholaus Biela, Martin Buckley, Cameron Collins, Michael Dollard, Alex Eagleton, Darla Langdon, Jeremy Monsivais, Daniel Roe, Stephanie Steiner, Kristina Vaughn, and Steve Wilson.
Via telephone (2): Roberta King and Karl Picard.
Absent (2): Bill Kaczaraba & Eric Flatness.
I. Call to order – Stephanie Steiner
II. Roll – Cameron Collins: 11 of 15 Present
III. RAVE Foundation
Ashley Fosberg. Executive Director of the RAVE Foundation came to the Alliance Council meeting and recapped RAVE’s programs. She told the Council that RAVE received $12,000 in December as they were glassybaby’s charity of the month. Relatively soon, The Sounders will even have their own glassybaby candle that they can sell in the Pro Shop.
Ashli Brown, Michael Johnson, and Dawn Wheeler from concessions came to the council to discuss the changes coming to concessions. The Alliance Council was able to try some of the food and met the new Executive Chef, who comes over to CenturyLink from Safeco Field. The Seahawks have decided that they don’t want a concessionaire and, as such, they will do it themselves. They have created First and Goal Hospitality.
→ 2017 Concessions Goals
– Food quality and selection. Focus on local.
– More food and beverage combos.
– Beer matrix and strategically placing brands where the fans want it.
– Vending. Food and beverage items that fans want.
→ Executive Chef Michael Johnson
The key to his move from Safeco Field was the promise that the concessions would have a focus on sustainable and local. In the last 8 months, they have tripled the amount of local businesses with whom they do business.
– Sustainability: Compost from the stadium will go to Cedar Grove Compost and then will be used on a farm in Redmond. They will grow all the vegetables for the stadium. They will also have bees and will produce honey. If they have too much food in this process, the plan is to donate the excess to local food banks. The crops are being planted in the next 10-15 days.
→ 2016 Concession Specific Fan Survey
– Fans are looking for more variety.
– Fans are looking for speed of service.
– Fans are looking for better quality. Not as concerned with pricing.
Because like the team is dedicated to tickets and food for a family being available for under $100, there will be more family packs and combos to help achieve this goal.
→ The Beer Matrix
* 2015 – 95% draft
* 2016 Sounders Matches – 89% draft
– Domestic vs. Premium in concessions
* Specialty stands will only be selling premium beer
– Local craft brand opportunities
* Georgetown Brewery (Manny’s), Alaska, Mack n Jacks, Black Raven, Ghostfish, & more
* They will also be partnering with Seattle Cider
→ Community Concessions Program
They will take a cross-section of of Seattle and bring it in to CenturyLink. They will have a range of unique items that are just at CenturyLink Field and replica items that are available. They have been out to Eastern Washington to meet with many ranchers and growers. CenturyLink is already ranked #1 in the MLS in terms of food.
– 2016 Partners:
International District: Hue Ky Mi Gia & Pho Cyclo
Pioneer Square: Rain Shadow & Kraken Congee
Pike Place Market: Beechers & Uli’s Sausage
→ Questions and comments from the Alliance Council
– Vegetarian & Vegan Options: Cameron Collins spoke on vegans options and the ways that the extenuating circumstances that made the vegan food fail at Safeco Field. He also asked that they make the ingredients of the food available at the various concessions and grab and go stands. They said that ingredients will be available, will have food maps, and will do a better job of educating employees on the various food options.
Martin Buckley spoke on the lack of quality in the vegetarian options and expressed hope that they would be improved moving forward. He also spoke on the hope that the options will be better advertised to fans. Taylor Graham said that the Sounders are dedicated to communicating those options.
– Beverage Selection: Stephanie Steiner made a request for better non-alcoholic beverage options and cited a the growing concern about the coming diabetes epidemic. Coke, as the beverage partner, could hopefully help move this forward.
– Local Alcohol Options: Alex Eagleton spoke on the hope that the Sounders could incorporate local wines in to the fold.
→ Other plans moving forward
– The chefs want to be visible during the matches. This can help them better connect with the consumers and let them receive comments and criticism directly.
– There will be some more concessions that are sold in the stands directly to the fans. For example, Papa Johns. The Sounders want to be sure this does not become so prevalent hat it gets in the way of the game, though.
– As they moved over from the previous concessionaire to creating their own, one of the keys was keeping a lot of the staff on board. They hope to continue to grow as an organization this way.
– For suites, they are streamlining the menu and making it better.
– They are investing in the back of the house and hope to continue to grow the equipment in order to increase quality.
– The food trucks will continue to be in the North Plaza during the matches
V. Constitution Articles
A) Article 6: Honorary Chairman (First Reading) – Stephanie
→ adds process, removal, and duties to 6.1 of the Honorary Chair. Makes it clear that if we don’t do this, it does not technically preclude us from doing anything listed here, but will make it easier for future councils. By adding (s) to the title, it means we can name multiple people, like the entire team. This puts it out there so future councils will know even when all of us are gone.
→ Why the executive committee should have the ability to remove the distinction, beyond the power of the council as a whole, is that it lets the EC act immediately, instead of waiting until the next meeting, when it could be necessary to act. Like they are convicted of drunk driving, commit some other egregious act.
→ “The executive shall make best efforts to survey the council for input prior to voting outside of a regular Business Meeting. ” added to 6.1.2 in case the executive committee needs to act (see above)
→ Other small tidying up done to ensure language follows rest of constitution
B) Article 8: Supporter Groups (Second Reading) – Stephanie
→ There was discussion on how the language in the article as previously amended lacks definition to make clear who an “affected” supporter group would be. In the end, however, because there is a group coming together to come to a solution for Bylaw 7, most feel it is likely irrelevant.
Vote to make amendments to Article 8 passes unanimously 11-0.
→ Language added to the Article to make clear the Front Office determines Supporter Group sections, not the Alliance Council.
Motion to amend Article 8 is seconded.
Amendments to Article 8 passes 11-0.
Vote to pass Article 8, as amended, passes 11-0.
VI. Alliance Council Initiatives for 2017
The Alliance has collected these initiatives from various sources, including email, social media, in person, and any other way fans choose to communicate with members of the Alliance Council. Undoubtedly, more initiatives will come in to existence throughout the year.
→ Memorializing “The Save” (Nick willing to take lead of Save Project, Cameron willing to hop on as backup.)
→ Hosting MLS Cup & What will happen to Season Ticket Holders (Stephanie is lead)
→ Replacement/Elimination of Bylaw 7 (Supporter Groups) (Martin is lead)
→ High-Level council recruiting (Stephanie is lead, but everyone can help)
→ Constitution (Stephanie is lead)
→ Exploring Non-Profit Status (Martin is lead)
→ Updating soundersfc.com (Stephanie is lead)
→ Budget and Resources (Martin is Lead)
→ Rebuilding Website (Martin is Lead)
→ Visibility and Marketing (Karl is lead. Cameron is on board to help.)
→ To-Do List for the Council (Stephanie is lead)
→ Procedure for Designating Votes and concern that people will not be using the app this year (Cameron is lead)
VII. Open Discussion
→ Kristina plans to touch base with Mikaela on the Scarf Vote, how it went last year, and how it can get better. The Council hopes to streamline the process on our end so it is not as rushed.
→ Season Ticket Holder packages were pushed back because of the newly designed box for MLS Championship and will be coming soon.
Moved. Seconded. Council votes unanimously to adjourn.