Alliance Council Meeting Minutes

Tuesday, May 21, 2013
101 Elliott Building

Attendees (24/44): Keith Osterhoudt, Ron Lamb, Danni Blue, Paul Cox, Mike Dollard, Kevin Hughbanks, Matt Oak, Jerry Neil, Greg Mockos, Bob Davis, Glenn White, Dylan Vanderhoof, Heather Satterberg, Derek Pells, Brendan Vaughn, Brian Winchester, Mark Winchester, Brian Prouty, Angelica Mendoza, Pablo Mendoza, Randy Nunez, Stephanie Steiner, Leann Johnson, Roberta King.

FO representative: Taylor Graham



Welcome to four newly elected Alliance council members: Derek Pells, Matt Oak, Jerry Neil and Kevin Hughbanks, bringing the Council total to 44.

Old business:

  1. Vancouver away tickets for non-supporter-group Alliance season ticket members – Leann Johnson/Roberta King
    Leann outlined the plan developed in collaboration with Sounders’ and Whitecaps’ front offices in response to concerns expressed by supporter group representatives on council. The proposal includes 156 tickets in sections 216/217, adjacent to the away supporter group sections. This section will differ from the supporter group sections in that it will be assigned seating and no tifo or other prohibited items will be allowed. There will be no requirement to arrive early as these seats are assigned and individuals will be arriving independently, not in a large group. Ticket holders will be required to stay in the seats for 15-30 minutes after the match, along with the supporter groups. MLS liaisons, security and Sounders’ front office representatives will monitor this non-supporter-group section, and supporter groups will have no responsibility for the fans in this section. Tickets (4 max.) will be sold via MyAccount Manager and will be mailed in advance to the Alliance member. Tickets will be offered to Alliance members beginning with those who purchased season ticket memberships in 2007. Council voted unanimously to amend the proposal and then unanimously approved the amended proposal.
  2. Committee for connecting and interacting with Alliance – Brendan Vaughn
    Brendan reported on the committee’s continued discussions around connecting with Alliance members, increasing their overall awareness of Council, and improving match day experience for everyone. Glenn summarized his position that we have communications tools, but in order to engage the Alliance, the Council needs to demonstrate its value by effecting positive change, then communicating accomplishments along with the message that the Alliance Council is about improving match day experience. The committee is in the process of seeking match day experience suggestions from Alliance members, which will then be collected and prioritized by the committee based on their relative impact and the cost/effort to complete. As there was interest broadly across the Alliance Council in assisting with this effort, Brendan will seek electronic ways to catalog ideas and invited Council members to add suggestions to the list. The committee is proposing to bring ideas forward to the FO in July.

New business:

  1. Open Discussion
    – Improved signage surrounding supporter sections – Justin Williams (not in attendance)
    There is a need for extra signage that explains what to expect when sitting in or near the supporter/GA section.

    – Removing the flamethrowers from goal posts – Derek Pells

An unofficial show of hands revealed that a slight majority of council members present enjoy the new goal celebration flames. Stephanie noted the size of the supports and additional staff are blocking views of the pitch for fans in the north end suites. Taylor suggested that Council invite the Sounders’ director of game day presentation to a meeting to share information about their plans and perspective and allow Council to provide feedback. Taylor pointed out that CenturyLink management and concessions contractors also influence match day experience.

– Supporter group recognition process. There was an online form, but information needs to be more visible to those seeking recognition by Council and the Club.

– Captain’s armband – Mark asked if there is an opportunity for fans to design a special armband.  Jerry reported that he is in the process of submitting a design to the front office.

– New fan outreach. Randy asked whether the Sounders FO has information on the demographics of the Sounders fan base, if the club is planning outreach to additional groups, and how ticket prices might be used to entice new fans. Randy will follow up with Paul.

  1. Next meeting – Paul/Taylor reported that they have not been able to find a date in June for Council to meet with ownership, and will seek a date in July instead. A motion to cancel the June 9th meeting passed unanimously after discussing the lack of agenda items.