Alliance Council Meeting 2/6/2018 

By: Karl Picard

The first part of our February meeting we had a joint session with Taylor, Mikaela, James to discuss Operations, Ticketing and the move to SeatGeek.

Some key notes from the Operations section were:

  • Season attendance average 43,666, hosted non-Sounders games Mexico v Paraguay and the Tournament of Nations.
  • Clear bag policy was implemented over the past year, this was a partnership with CenturyLink.  Continue to work with security around their standards and their application.
  • After addressing the inconstancy with bags at the gate in working with staff, there is a reduction of checked bags at the Sounders official checkpoint based on data. They continue to focus on improving in this area.
  • Continue to work with supports to encourage tifos and displays.
  • There were multiple 48-hour conversions for the stadium from soccer to football (or vice versa).
  • 8 doubleheaders with Mariners, the team continues working to build the relationship between the organizations and to reduce the congestion with the partnership (7 will occur this year).
  • Multiple new presentation elements for match presentations and fan engagements, working to raise the standards
  • We play in one of the greenest stadiums in the world, with 97% waste diversion rate, they generate their own solar power to offset, reduce water consumption with low-flow, and automatic lighting reduces the energy usage.
  • Sounders have a partnership with Youth Force to supply game day support staff.
  • Gate wait time peaks over the season were at most an average of 7 min.  This is a balance between resourcing and not overdoing that expense.  This data point was across all games and times including full stadium games.
  • Sounders will be updating them on the field LED system as they are 9 years old.  This is to reduce the maintenance and repair costs.
  • Reduction of weekday games and Sunday games and increase in Sat games while working to build consistency on kickoff timing.

Next up was the discussion around ticketing.  The SeatGeek transition was completed in a very short offseason.  Tickets will launch the first full week of Feb to allow fans to experiment more before the season (3 weeks before the first home game).  The main change to fans is the account manager (managing of tickets and selling them) is now powered by SeatGeek.  You need to link your account to be able to resell, forward, print tickets, renew seats, reserve playoffs, and take advantage of presales and additional soccer events.  Basically, linking your account sets up your account manager.  There is an insert coming with the Season Ticket packages to outline some of the actions and benefits.  You can now use Venmo to get payments for selling tickets.  The workflows to manage tickets will be more logical and save clicks to do things like print tickets.  SeatGeek no longer has the 7-day restriction of printing tickets like last year, just keep track of what you are printing to prevent any gate issues with duplicates.  The mobile app also saves clicks and has Single Sign-On functionality and integration between managing tickets and accounts. Instructional videos will be coming to help with the transition.  You will need to re-designate tickets again this year for your account.  Designation give the access to the season pass but not to be able to manage the ticket (like selling)

New up was AC Projects for 2018

After a quick break, we moved into Alliance Council projects.  We have 12 projects with multiple people on each project.  Expectations are for the groups to address moving the projects forward outside of the meeting and report back to the group.

  • 10 year anniversary is working on their content, they have a framework on the content and are working with the FO on collaboration.  The goal is to get 15 posts.
  • Away travel team is working on the framework for goals and what they plan to accomplish on tagging away games for general fan allocation.  We want to be careful with not impacting supporter’s groups while working to help general fans can have access.
  • Working with RAVE and others to see what we can do to impact Community involvement.  Todd and Molly joined the group to support Darla.
  • Food and Beverage have been working to have supporter group beers in the stadium, they should be covered for the upcoming season and available.  There should also be some new packages for the upcoming season.  Will continue to work with the FO to provide feedback.  One of the issues is that the Sounders don’t own the venue and there are challenges there.  The group is going to work to come with some data and research to help the cause.
  • GM vote group meet at the end of last month.  They are working to improve marketing, maybe leveraging radio options.  This will be the first vote for Garth and the 2nd for the club.  We want to ensure we have a decent voter turnout.  Voting will be in October timeframe
  • Jersey group is working with front office and working to set up the timing and meetings.  We want to continue to expand our impact on what we can do with the FO for the jerseys.
  • Matchday experience currently doesn’t have a leader and there wasn’t much movement due to that.  Peter volunteered for the group leader.
  • S2 and the Alliance, much of this is going through the Rainers and Community Trust.  We’ll work to support this effort and work with the contacts we have.
  • Scarf vote effort will kick off in late summer or fall
  • Visibility and Outreach is working to identify priorities for the season
  • Sitting vs Standing still without a leader.  Resources have been out for a bit.
  • Youth Outreach will now be led by Todd.  Looking into how to get youth programs to take advantage of open seats.  Getting input from how the Mariners do stuff to support youth tickets.  Group to set up what they want to focus on and identify a front office resource.

That’s all for now, see you next month with another meeting recap.