SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC ALLIANCE COUNCIL
February 6, 2018 – 7:00 PM – The NINETY
Present (15 of 19): Lisa Angeles, Nicholaus Biela, Peter Buck, Martin Buckley, Cameron Collins, Todd Cowles, Michael Dollard, Alex Eagleton, Karl Picard, Daniel Roe, Stephanie Steiner, Molly Wagner, and Jeff Williams.
Via telephone (0): None.
Absent (4): Nick Biesold, Darla Langdon, Roberta King, and Jerry Neil.
I. Call to order – Martin Buckley
II. Roll – Cameron Collins: 15 of 19 Present
III. 2017 Operations Summary and Ticketing
Taylor Graham, Vice President of Business Operations
Mikaela Purvis, Director of Membership Engagement and Retention
James Milgate, Senior Application Developer
A. 2017 Sounders Operations Summary – Taylor Graham
→ The Sounders will continue to work at getting international soccer matches in Seattle. Council President Martin Buckley raised the concern that there were complaints from the public about scheduling and pricing. This is driven by the organizations involved with the events. Sounders will continue to work with them to try and get them to set the prices within the range to which Seattle market is accustomed.
→ Security Experts at CenturyLink lead the move towards stronger security. Sounders have the highest security standards across MLS.
→ There were eight matches on the same days as the Mariners in 2017. The FO worked to strengthen the relationship with Mariners and offer double headers. There are seven such matches in 2018 and the FO will continue to work with the Mariners and will collaborate on time changes when necessary.
→ The Sounders play in one of the greenest stadiums in the world. 97% waste diversion, all food service and vessels are compostable, they use paper-based ocean biodegradable straws, 25% of energy used is created on site through solar panels, they use 24% less energy because of LED and automatic lighting, and 1.3 million gallons of water are saved via low flow fixtures.
→ The Sounders continued their relationship with the Boys and Girls Club through the use of their Youth Force program, which is a teen employment program. → People enter through a variety of gates, but the Northwest gate is the most popular. NW (29%), South (22%), SW (16%), NE (12%), N (1%), Club (4%), NW VIP (3%), SW VIP (3%), and Suites (1%). The average peak wait time to enter the match is seven minutes.
→ Working with ECS, they will go away from the wrist bands for GA in the upcoming year.
→ The LED Board system will be replaced around April. The technology is outdated, making it cost prohibitive to maintain the old system.
→ In 2018, there will be far more weekend matches. There is a significant jump in Saturday day and evening matches compared to 2017.
→VAR: There were zero times where the technology did not work in the stadium in 2017. They cannot show the replays during VAR in the stadium because of FIFA rules. Replays cannot be shown until play has restarted.
B. Sounders Ticketing, SeatGeek, and Sounders App – Mikaela Purvis & James Milgate
→ Tickets are launching this week so there is more time prior to the season to work with the new system. There are not a lot of changes from the fan perspective, but the biggest changes are ease of use for the fan.
→ For security reasons, Sounders couldn’t transfer passwords and credit card information from Ticketmaster to SeatGeek, which is why season ticket holders had to do it themselves. It was the only process that wasn’t mobile friendly because of set up, but everything will be mobile friendly from now on. There is a small percentage of accounts who have not done this yet and have missed payments. Sounders are tracking them down.
→ Some of the new benefits with SeatGeek include: Pre-sale for single match tickets with a discount and no fees for Alliance Members, you can transfer individual match tickets to friends and they can pay you through the SeatGeek system via Venmo, option to donload tickets as PDFs, no seven date print limitation, and SeatGeek has a dedicated customer service teams for Sounders fans.
→ 900 seats opted out of scarves. Because of this initiative, spearheaded by former Council member Angelica Peck, 6000 balls were donated between this opt out and Delta providing matching dollars. → There are no Supporter Group logos on tickets this year.
→ Ticket packages get put in the mail Wednesday. App goes live Thursday.
IV. Alliance Council Projects Updates
10 Year Anniversary of the Alliance: A skeleton outline of content has been made. Council will be working with the FO to make it a joint project. This will allow for more high-quality content. Molly will be interviewing the three Presidents of the Alliance Council. We still need people to write for the project.
Away Travel: The group is working on the framework for what it will looks like and setting the goals. Discussion on Ticket allocation, so they will meet with FO to discuss the process. Main goal is to make sure that fans who are season ticket holders who are not part of an Supporter Groups will have an opportunity to travel.
Community Involvement: Darla is working on what it will look and has spoken with Ashley Fosberg, Executive Director of the RAVE Foundation. She is currently working on the setting a greater scope that previous involvement. Todd & Molly are joining the group.
Food & Beverage: GFC and Eastside have the same beers. ECS have a new beer. They will all be available in the stadium. Discussion followed on affordability and vegan/vegetarian options. Cpuncil will try to do a meeting with concessions before a match so that we can sample the average stadium fare.
GM Vote: Council is working with the Front Office on visibility. Look at minutes to put more info in to her. The group will be looking into the available voting mechanisms and the timeline necessary to effect October voting. The goal is a high turnout and visibility through local and national press.
Jerseys: In May or June Council will start work on the /2020 jersey with FO. We will continue the conversation on our involvement with the 2019 jersey, which is being finalized now. The new 2018 first kit includes a nod to the Alliance, with both a jocktag that celebrates the Ten Years of the Alliance and a neckhit that has the phrase “YOU WILL HEAR US.” It goes on sale on the 10th.
Matchday Experience: The group currently needs a leader. Peter is stepping up to lead the group.
Outreach/Visibility: The group has begin the conversation on what we are going to target for the coming season. There will be a larger update at the next meeting.
S2: All of the S2 operation have gone to the Seattle Rainiers, and all the fan experience type issues are going to Sounders Community Trust (SCT). Darla will work with Kyle from SCT to see what Council involvement will be.
Scarf Vote: It typically takes place at the end of the Fall. The process of how it runs has been developed for a strong vote to happen this season.
Sitting vs Standing: No updates. The group will need somebody diplomatic to deal with the issue.
Youth Outreach: Todd will lead the group. He has already talked to the Mariners to see what they and Major League Baseball do with the youth. It includes ticket giveaways, working with Seattle Schools, and other activities.
Moved. Seconded. Council votes unanimously to adjourn.