Meeting Minutes: July 2018

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC ALLIANCE COUNCIL

MEETING MINUTES

August 2018 – 7:00 PM – The NINETY

Call to Order

Call to order 7:00 PM

Attendance

Present: Nick Biesold, Jerry Neal, Stephanie Steiner, Roberta King, Darla Langdon, Lisa Angeles, Daniel Roe, Nicholaus Biela, Alex Eagleton, Jesse Kilgore, Martin Buckley, Gilbert Ko, Jeff Williams.

No one on phone.

Strategy Session

Season Ticket Member Celebration and Renewals – Mikaela Purvis

Welcome back Mikaela!

Renewals: Front Office survey of Season Ticket Members showed that 13% rated some degree of overall dissatisfaction: team performance is first priority and second is match day experience,

Inconvenient scheduling and resell are the new challenges for this year.

Value concession items: the Club is working on concession deals to offer fans at each match, similar to the hot dogs/drinks/popcorn deals that have been offered in the past.  It’s possible that there could be a variety.  This conversation is in progress

Other

  • There are no resell fees through SeatGeek for 2019 for Season Ticket Holders
  • Sounders offer AAA services on match day.
  • STM can purchase discounted season parking pass
  • STM may opt out of scarf and make RAVE Foundation

Working on:

  • 12 month payment plan
  • Sounders are looking for a transportation partner
  • Some other cool benefits surrounding 10 Years of Sounders in MLS

Green Zone (Hawk’s Nest, North End of stadium) Rows S and higher will be closed next year. Covered in tarp.

Pricing:

– weighted average 1.5 % increase.

– 42.1% of seats sold are decreasing in price or staying flat
– 26.7 decreasing
-15.4 staying flat

There are no increases larger than 3.8%.
Edit preferences 1 August
First payment 4 September

Suggestions from council.
– Allow the fans to know the final price.
– The payments can be adjusted if seats are different price.

Season Ticket Member Celebration:

Save the date STM Celebration August 19 11AM to 2PM
Number one request from fans are photo opportunities and autographs.
Scarf vote: will present the final 5 at STM Celebration – samples of the scarves will be there.

Scarf Vote update (for 2019 scarf)

The plan is to get the choices of scarfs from 42 to 5.
The scarves will be gifted to the final 5. Voting in person through the phone at the event. Trying not to compete with GM vote and cause voters’ fatigue.

Some open brainstorming from council to get more participate:

-links to software to help design.
-student version of Photoshop
-5 finalists get to keep the scarves
-Larger window of time to design
-provide the logo, Sounders FC fonts, etc.: make it easier for non-professional designers without access to that art
-important that it remains ‘from the Alliance Council’ and not commercially sold

Martin showed all 42 entries on-screen.

GM Vote update Martin, Alex, Jeff
– Alliance Council met with Adrian + Garth

2018 Alliance Council Projects                    

Food:            

Status and feedback from project leads and sub-teams keep the reviews coming.
Please take picture of food and send to Alex. Alex posted a picture of food on Facebook, and asked people to guess what it was. Different burgers in stadium: John Howie was the worst and cost the most. Alex will send reviews to Taylor and have them forward to First and Goal Hospitality.

Jersey: Jersey team was not given an update, but Stephanie and Martin had a little information. All are frustrated with the lack of creativity pushed upon us by Adidas and MLS.

Adidas is pushing MLS clubs to more and more similarity, yet promoting creativity and edginess but not honoring either. Both Council and Club are frustrated. Alliance Council is considering its next steps carefully.

Match day no update

Sitting vs standing: club making calls to season ticket holders. No one present had received such a call.  Council members expressed frustration over not being included in this conversation to solve sitting vs standing.

Travel: still working.

August meeting: will be a working/planning meeting.

Adjourn                    

Meeting Minutes: June 2018

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC ALLIANCE COUNCIL

MEETING MINUTES

 June 5, 2018 – 7:00 PM – The NINETY

Present (16 of 18): Lisa Angeles, Nicholaus Biela, Nick Biesold, Peter Buck, Martin Buckley, Cameron Collins, Todd Cowles, Alex Eagleton, Jesse Kilgore, Roberta King, Darla Langdon, Jerry Neil, Daniel Roe, Stephanie Steiner, Molly Wagner, and Jeff Williams.

Via telephone (0): None.

Absent (2): Michael Dollard and Gilbert Ko.

I Call to order – Martin Buckley

II Roll – Cameron Collins: 14 of 18 Present

III. Strategy Session on RAVE Foundation with Ashley Fosberg, Executive Director of the RAVE Foundation, and Kinberly Aigner, Director of Community Outreach at Sounders FC: The strategic objective of RAVE Foundation is to  lead, serve, and invest in the community.

 → Lead: Drive awareness and engagement around key community initiatives through the sounders brand. This includes sustainability, Give Big, Pride, Special Olympics, and Kick Childhood Cancer.

SUSTAINIBILITY: RAVE is working with Washington Green Schools to aid in sustainability, as well as promote sustainability internally. WGS reaches out to 500 schools across the state and helps school with whatever they want to do to be more sustainable. Internally, the Sounders FO has started a green team that meets monthly with members from each of the Sounders departments.

GIVE BIG:
They encouraged players, fans, and staff to select their nonprofits of choice and take action. Seattle Foundation will no longer be doing the Give Big event, this the Sounders FO and RAVE are looking at how to continue to work with nonprofits in a similar capacity moving forward.        

PRIDE: They are working to promote LGBTQ awareness and equality in sports. 90% of LGBTQ youth has not had a positive experience in sports. They will work with Athlete Ally to put on a coaching clinic on how to make the locker room and the team an LGBTQ friendly experience. They have also created a Sounders FC GSBA Scholarship, which will give $10,000 a year to their selected scholar. More information available here: https://www.soundersfc.com/post/2018/06/04/sounders-fc-announces-establishment-club-sponsored-gsba-scholarship-through-2020.        

SPECIAL OLYMPICS: The Special Olympics USA Games is in Seattle. RAVE will be involved in soccer events at Championship Field at Seattle university and one match at University of Washington. They are looking for volunteers to show up and support the players July 2-5. There are attempting to foster a culture of inclusion. They have a unified team that plays matched against other unified teams, including a match against Portland. More information can be found here: https://www.soundersfc.com/post/2018/05/25/sounders-fc-hosts-special-olympics-unified-signing-day.

KICK CHILDHOOD CANCER: RAVE is focusing on creating empowering & inspirational experiences for kids battling cancer and their families. This year, there is an honorary team captain that walks out with our team captain who is battling cancer or who has battled cancer in the past. Kick Childhood Cancer month is in September. Last year they did the Out for Blood campaign with Zach Scott to get people to donate to Bloodworks NW. They will be doing something similar this year. Sept 4th they will be having blood drives. They will choose 4 Bloodworks NW locations outside of the Seattle area to run campaigns as well. September 29th is our annual Kick Childhood Cancer match.

→ Serve: They are constantly working on how to create a culture of service. Last year they did monthly staff opportunities to serve in the community during work hours. This year they want fans to be involved, so there will be a fan call to action.

→Invest: Sounders invests in our community through RAVE Foundation. Their mission is to strengthen communities and build small fields for free play.

RAVE TARGET NEIGHBORHOODS: South Park, Beacon Hill, Rainier Valley, Yesler, Lake City, White Center, Burien, SeaTac, Des Moines, Tacoma, and Tukwila. There will be one or more programs in all of these communities. The Yesler Field will open this August and the grand opening celebration will be in September. They are also looking in to futsal courts, one of which has already been created at Beverly Park.

RAVE Octagon: Eight sided play space where kids can play. There have funded 2 so far. There are opportunities for partners to be involved with branding.

RAVE Programs. They are planning soccer camps and clinics in communities of need. They will give as many kids as possible a soccer ball. They have also created a Sports Media Institute where kids from RAVE target communities apply to be involved. It includes 20-60 kids.  They have also created a Science of soccer program, which uses soccer to teach STEM/science and math subjects. It is a 12 weeks long and based on Washington state requirements and is designed as both an after school and in school program.

IV 2018 Alliance Council Projects

Scarf Vote: They talked to Front Office about our prosed timeline and alterations to the vote. The Club are going to run a traditional scarf vote with voting online and voting in person at the fan event. They are going to start sending out information on how to submit a design in the middle of the month and in early to mid-July the council will narrow them down. On July 19, the top 5 will be shown at the fan event. Announced at Sounders home match on Sept 19th.

GM Vote: Council is meeting with Adrian Hanauer and Garth Largerwey this week to talk about the GM vote and express fan frustrations. Council members will then be able to go forth and speak their mind on what they think about the plans moving forward. We will have a four week voting window from end of September to end of October carried out electronically by a third party so that it is fully auditable.  There are two thresholds. For the vote to count, there needs to be a certain threshold of alliance members voting. For this quorum, it needs to be 40% of Alliance Members to be valid. For an action to be taken there needs to be a supermajority of the votes, or 66%. If quorum not met, no action is taken. If supermajority is not met, no action is taken.

10-Year Anniversary of the Alliance:
Until the Front Office hires a new person to handle this, we are in a holding pattern.   

Away Travel: Nothing to report.

Community Involvement:          A few events coming up that line up with the RAVE pillars. July 2 with Special Olympics is one event we are all encouraged to attend.       

Food & Beverage: The group is looking for volunteers to taste food. Martin will get in touch with the Club to try and get this going. Anyone who eats the food on the council, please take a picture and write down 2-3 sentences about it.   

Jersey Group: We met with the Club and saw the two potential mockups of the 2020 jersey and gave our feedback.

Matchday Experience: No update.        

Outreach & Visibility: The group is putting together all of tehir ideas.They have been throwing them out and now need to create overarching goals and make asks of council and Front Office. They will work in tandem with other groups so as to not redo work already being done in other groups.

Youth Outreach:
Todd talked with Ashley, Todd, and Taylor, and is working on a meeting with them on working with youth, getting butts in seats, and discussing how the Council can be involved with that. Molly was contact with the Reign and they may be interested in helping with some youth outreach. Summer is a good time to get involved with youth outreach.

Sitting vs. Standing: The Club has started to work on this issue internally. Council has anecdotes and real data and will meet with the Front Office to move it forward. Council Members want Questions about Sitting vs Standing to be a part of renewals. Council President Martin Buckley and Council Vice President Stephanie Steiner expressed their frustrations that Council has not been included in a collaborative conversation on this topic the Council has tried to tackle for many years now.

V Adjournment

Moved. Seconded. Council votes unanimously to adjourn.

Meeting Minutes: May 2018

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC ALLIANCE COUNCIL

MEETING MINUTES

May 1, 2018 – 7:00 PM – The NINETY

Present (14 of 18): Nicholaus Biela, Nick Biesold, Peter Buck, Martin Buckley, Cameron Collins, Todd Cowles, Michael Dollard, Alex Eagleton, Roberta King, Gilbert Ko, Jerry Neil, Stephanie Steiner, Molly Wagner, and Jeff Williams.

Via telephone (3): Lisa Angeles, Jesse Kilgore, and Darla Langdon.

Absent (1): Daniel Roe.

I Call to order – Martin Buckley

II Roll – Cameron Collins: 14 of 18 Present

III. Strategy Session on Marketing and Game Presentation with Todd Albright, Sounders FC Director of Marketing and Fan Experience

Todd has worked for the Club for two years. He originally started as an employee of the Seattle Supersonics. Before he was an employee of the Sounders, he was an Alliance Member.

→ Marketing Goals for 2018: Average attendance was 44,247 per game in 2017. In 2018, the Club is hoping to exceed that number. The overarching goal is to sell out all of CenturyLink by 2026.

→ 2018 Marketing Areas of Focus: The Sounders hope to capitalize upon the World Cup. The team could have up to 4 players playing in the tournament. The Club already has a Sounders in Russia webpage set up and will have World Cup watch parties. They also plan to giveaway trips similar to the Rivalry Road Trip contest they just had to win a trip to Portland for the 100th ever matchup between the Sounders and Timbers. Over half of the people who entered were not Alliance Members. Sounders will also be launching a page to highlight the Sounders/Timbers rivalry leading up to the matches this season.

Gameday Presentation: There are some exciting changes coming to the Gameday Presentation. They are going to rework the tunnel where the players enter, allowing more media access to the players as they are about to enter the field. The goal is to have this completed for the Portland match on June 30th. It will be temporary, so it can go in and out for Seahawks game.
Passionate discussion about pre-game happy hour beer pricing in Stadium. The club is missing an opportunity to get people in earlier. New LED boards are going in for the next match. Almost all of the music in the stadium is now from local bands. Members of the Council talked about how much they love Jonathan Wright, the new National Anthem performer.

IV Bylaw 10, Second Reading: As we have been talking with the Club about the forthcoming General Manager vote, the Front Office asked that we more cleanly define who is eligible to participate in the vote under our new Constitution. The proposed new language for Bylaw 10 is as follows:

BYLAW 10.  ALLIANCE MEMBER ELIGIBILITY

The Alliance Council may allow additional memberships into the Alliance beyond those members with commercially purchased ticket packages.

10.1      Purchase Price: Membership in the Alliance may be purchased; the price shall be $75 per season.

10.2      Funds:  The Alliance Council shall have the right to allocate or use the funds collected for payment to join the Alliance.

10.3      Rejection of Membership: The Alliance Council may at any time create a process to reject or eliminate members who appear to be working against our commitment to protecting, upholding, and furthering the interests of the greater Sounders community.

10.4      GM Vote and Recall voting eligibility:

10.4.1   Eligible Alliance Voters Only Alliance Members who have purchased Full Season Ticket or Half Season Ticket packages through the Club are eligible to vote in a GM vote.

10.4.2   Ticket Brokers. Club-identified commercial Ticket Brokers are not eligible to vote in a GM Vote.

The Sounders currently have one ticket broker with whom they work. This broker would be the only entity excluded under this new clause.

Moved for a vote. Seconded. Bylaw 10, as amended, passes by a vote of 13-1.

V At-Large Executive Committee Member Election:

With Karl Picard moving to ex officio, the Council has an open at-large Executive Committee position available. A call was made for nominations. Jeff Williams self-nominated for the position and ran without opposition. Jeff Williams becomes an At-Large Member of the Alliance Council Executive Committee for the 2017-18 Council Year by declaration

VI 2018 Alliance Council Projects

Scarf Vote (Roberta King & Martin Buckley): Some proposed changes to how the scarf vote works. It would fall under a new timetable. As in previous years, the Council will run the scarf vote with the Club. This time, the Council will collect the designs and reduce it to the best 4. The Club will get the scarves made so fans can see them at the Summer Fan Celebration.

The schedule has a really short voting window.  A proposal came from the Council to have vote in person at Fan Celebration in the summer. This would eliminate any voter fatigue moving in to the GM vote. This idea will be taken back to the Front Office.

Youth Outreach (Todd Cowles):

  • Focus:In general, they are seeking a focus around Youth Outreach that: makes a difference / moves the needle for youth in a positive way; is welcomed by the Sounders, providing benefit versus just being a distraction or added work for them; and provides easy and/or energizing opportunities for the Alliance Council and the Alliance to “lean in” and contribute. Members of the group will be reaching out to local clubs and the RAVE Foundation to see what ideas they can bring back to our Club.
  • Butts in Seats:There is energy around and visible paths to good possibilities with getting youth/butts in the seats that might not normally be there. There are empty seats available and there are youth (and their families) out there that who, at worst, simply experience a great match, and at best, eventually “join the brand.”

Sitting vs. Standing (Roberta King & Lisa Angeles): Will be working with the Club to get a question on the topic in the end of year survey.

Outreach & Visibility: The Group needs a new leader with Karl Picard becoming an ex officio Council Member. Cameron Collins will be the new group leader.        

Matchday Experience (Peter Buck): The group has had internal conversation about the best path forward and will be meeting with the Front Office to discuss.

Community Involvement (Darla Langdon): There are several upcoming opportunities for the Council to volunteer with the RAVE Foundation. June: YouthCare. July: 2018 Special Olympics USA Games. August: RAVE Yesler Field Opening. September: Kick Childhood Cancer Month, Day of Caring with United Way of King County, Rave Green Run, and RAVE One Ball Program. October: Washington Green Schools Project. November & December: Helping families in need during the holiday season.

Food and Beverage (Alex Eagleton & Jerry Neil): The Club heard the requests brought forth by the Council and will be working with a local winery to create a canned sparkling rosé inside the stadium.

GM Vote (Martin Buckley): The group met with Club. The Front Office knows that this is going to be big and will involve lots of messaging and marketing. The Council gave a lot of ideas to the Club that they could use to promote the vote, from paid social to the monthly magazine having a piece. Most of the lifting will be by the Front Office and they are weaving it in to their summer activities to start the conversation in August at the fan event. Mail, Social, in-game, halftime. Voting will open on the 19th of September. Will close on the 17th of October.  Big unveil is at Summer Fan Event. Messaging will start in August.

Food and Beverage (Alex Eagleton): The group will be touring the stadium, eating the food and keeping track of the information they discuss. They are unhappy with the rise in beer prices and will continue a conversation with the Club on beverage selection and pricing.

Away Travel (Alex Eagleton): Jeff Williams has joined the group and they are working on ideas of how best to move forward.

10-Year Anniversary of the Alliance (Roberta King & Molly Wagner): With Kyle Sheldon leaving the Club, the champion within the FO for the Anniversary has departed. The Council will need to work with the FO on finding a new point person to carry water from the Club side.

VII. Adjournment

Moved. Seconded. Council votes unanimously to adjourn

Meeting Minutes: April 2018

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC ALLIANCE COUNCIL

MEETING MINUTES

April 3, 2018 – 7:00 PM – The NINETY

Present (14 of 18): Lisa Angeles, Nicholaus Biela, Martin Buckley, Cameron Collins, Todd Cowles, Michael Dollard, Alex Eagleton, Roberta King, Darla Langdon, Jerry Neil, Daniel Roe, Stephanie Steiner, Molly Wagner, and Jeff Williams.

Via telephone (0): none.

Absent (4): Nick Biesold, Peter Buck, Jesse Kilgore, and Gilbert Ko.

I. Call to order – Martin Buckley

II. Roll – Cameron Collins: 14 of 18 Present

III. Meeting with in-stadium concessions – First & Goal Hospitality (FGH)

Michael Johnson (First & Goal Hospitality Executive Chef), Reid Henderson (First & Goal Hospitality Sous Chef), Abby Hetterich (First & Goal Hospitality Director of Premium Services), and Emily Schultz (Sounders Suite Services Manager)

Council was able to try some of the new food options that are going to be offered.

A. Focus for 2018: Community Partnerships, Sustainability, Varieties of Food & Beverage, and Celebrating the 1st Year of First and Goal Hospitality (FGH)

→ New Spaces: Elysian Brewery will have a new area. Club refresh will be taking place with additions of Din Tai Fung and expansion of FGH’s Smokehouse. The Smokehouse will have tea brined smoked wings and the beef brisket will be chopped and cut in front of customer. The smokehouses will open in the Club April 22.

→ Community Partnerships: They will continue to foster relationships within SODO, Chinatown-International District, and Pioneer Square. They will expand the Stadium Street Market concept to include other vendors from greater Seattle and King County, inviting these vendors to the main concourse. When they have openings, FGH also uses their own chefs to try out new recipes. This practice has included many interesting vegan and vegetarian menu items. They are bringing in Thai Curry Simple and Rainshadow Meats as vendors, and have signed an exclusive agreement with  Country Natural Beef to provide hormone-free, primarily grass-fed beef from local sustainable farms. They have also signed an agreement with Collins Family Orchards.

FGH has made it a priority to focus on women and minority owned businesses, like East Anchor Seafood, a local woman-owned business, who will provide all of the seafood for concessions.

→ Sustainability: They have a 90% diversion rate away from landfill as a stadium. The compostables created at the step get sent to a local farm which is used top grow the produce used by FGH. This means that all of the produce is certifiably organic and locally grown, coming from less than 25 miles away. They are focused on hyper-local sourcing in the stadium, whether in concessions or catering. They have gone from 15-20 products from local vendors to 85 products.  They are also the only stadium in the nation that fresh bakes their own pizzas.

B. Questions and Comments from the Concessions Group (Alex Eagleton, Jerry Neil, & Mike Dollard) and the Rest of the Council:

→ Sounders need to promote all of this more. People generally assume stadium food is bad. Our fanbase would love to know about this, and they would support it.

→ Choice, especially on the 300 level, is a complaint. We’d love to see some of the suite and club food trickle down to the general fanbase.

→ With the rise of obesity in our country, we would like to see more calorie-free choices in the fountain drinks offered in the stadium. They are introducing unsweetened teas this year.

→ The Sofia Coppola Rosé is very popular. Why is more not available? They can only get a certain amount, and once it sold out until last year, they couldn’t get more until the new year. They will, however, be introducing Frozé (Frozen Rosé) later this season.

→ The Rising beer prices brought up. Council expressed complaints from the fans. They hear our concerns and will take the feedback up the chain. Last season they got the feedback that there were too many IPAs and have acted upon it.

→ Concerns about some of the food quality. The best way to give feedback is to write to your ticket representative. When doing so, the more detail that can be provided, the better. The more specific it is, the more they can deal with any issues.

→ Vegan and vegetarian options are simply not good enough. The quality, overall, has gone up, and we are grateful, but it would be nice to be able to get more options throughout stadium and the ability for vendors to do special orders when possible. They will continue to explore expanding these options and have been looking in to introducing new brands of veggie burgers and sausages. They are focusing on how they could make a dish vegan and not simply vegetarian, when possible, so both demographics would have options. They are also focusing on how to bring in other allergen-free foods for those with such needs.

IV. Bylaw 10, First Reading:

As we have been talking with the Club about the forthcoming General Manager vote, the Front Office asked that we more cleanly define who is eligible to participate in the vote under our new Constitution. The proposed new language for Bylaw 10 is as follows:

10.4 GM Vote and Recall voting eligibility:

10.4.1 Eligible Alliance Voters.  Only Alliance Members who have purchased Full Season Ticket or Half Season Ticket packages through the Club are eligible to vote in a GM vote.

10.4.2 Ticket Brokers. Club-identified commercial Ticket Brokers are not eligible to vote in a GM Vote.

The Sounders currently have one ticket broker with whom they work. This broker would be the only entity excluded under this new clause.

V. 2018 Alliance Council Projects

Youth Outreach (Todd Cowles): They talked to someone from the Mariners and they were really open with information on giving away tickets and made themselves available for future conversations. He also talked to the Front Office, asked what their definition was of outreach…and they break it down in to 5 different areas: RAVE, kids club, summer camps, etc. Talked about where council goals and FO goal might cross to create synergy and move forward some big ideas.

Sitting vs. Standing (Roberta King & Lisa Angeles): Group has been working on understanding the history of the issue. The Club have not been willing to deal with the issues. We will make baby steps with them. We are hoping to get a question on the topic in the end of year survey.

Scarf Vote (Roberta King): The schedule from last year was laid out, and Roberta will be working with the Front Office to finalize the schedule for this year and have the Front Office make the vote a priority. Ideally, it would be nice to build in more time between announcement of contest and due date for designs than last year, so as to allow for more entries.

S2 + The Alliance (Darla Langdon): Darla talked with Kyle from SCT. They are committed to remaining independent from the club. They want to keep communication with the Alliance open moving forward. They are focused on their relationship with the Rainiers right now. They are not closed off to the Alliance being involved when needed.

Outreach & Visibility: Group leader Karl Picard has elected to go ex-officio, so the group will work to re-form and come back at the next meeting.

Jerseys (Cameron Collins): This is the third year we have been involved in the jersey conversation. MLS being a single entity, and thus having a single kit provider, causes the choices to be primarily made at an organizationally level by Adidas. The input we give is primarily upon the “mood” and themes of the jersey, rather than individual details. The group met with the Front Office to give input on the themes of the 2020 jersey and will continue to provide feedback to the Club.

GM Vote: The group has had several meetings and will be finalizing their proposed calendar at their next meeting, taking place on the 18th of April.

Food and Beverage (Alex Eagleton): The group will be touring the stadium, eating the food and keeping track of the information they discuss. They are unhappy with the rise in beer prices and will continue a conversation with the Club on beverage selection and pricing.

Community Involvement (Darla Langdon): The group has talked to RAVE foundation about different events they are having where the Alliance Council can get involved and looking in to other ways for RAVE and AC to collaborate. Council needs to start thinking about projects we are passionate about.

Away Travel (Alex Eagleton): Away ticketing is handled by ECS. Alex will continue the conversation as a means to discuss the creation of travel experiences for Sounders Alliance members.

10-Year Anniversary of the Alliance (Roberta King & Molly Wagner): The group has been doing extensive research so as to allow for the best interviews to be done as part of the project. The group will work with the Front Office to see if they can share resources with the Club in creating content.

VI. Executive Committee Member Karl Picard now Ex-Officio: Karl was promoted at work and now feels that he cannot devote the appropriate amount of time he wishes to the Council to achieve all of his goals. The Council is grateful for all that Karl has done for the Council and will greatly miss his voice. Because of Karl’s departure, we will need someone to do write-ups of each Council meeting for the website and to handle social media for the Council. We will also be holding an election for the At-Large Executive Committee position vacated by Karl at the next Council Meeting.

VII. Adjournment

Moved. Seconded. Council votes unanimously to adjourn.

Meeting minutes: March 2018

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC ALLIANCE COUNCIL

MEETING MINUTES

March 6, 2017 – 7:00 PM – The NINETY

Present (16 of 19): Lisa Angeles, Nick Biesold, Nicholaus Biela, Peter Buck, Cameron Collins, Todd Cowles, Michael Dollard, Alex Eagleton, Darla Langdon, Jerry Neil, Daniel Roe, Stephanie Steiner, Molly Wagner, and Jeff Williams.

Via telephone (2): Roberta King and Karl Picard.

Absent (1): Martin Buckley.

I. Call to order – Stephanie Steiner

II. Roll – Cameron Collins: 16 of 19 Present

III. Work Group Updates: In order to allow Garth to Lagerwey to have as much time as possible, Council agreed to forego work group updates at this Meeting.  Instead, work group leaders will update the Council via the email distribution list. Suggested changes to the February minutes should be sent to Council President Martin Buckley and Council Secretary Cameron Collins by the following Friday.

IV. Meeting with Sounders General Manager Garth Lagerwey – Council met with Garth and discussed a myriad of issues from the forthcoming General Manager vote to his vision for the future of the Club.

V. Adjournment

Moved. Seconded. Council votes unanimously to adjourn.

Meeting Minutes: February 2018

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC ALLIANCE COUNCIL

MEETING MINUTES

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.

V. Adjournment

Moved. Seconded. Council votes unanimously to adjourn.