Annual Business Meeting Democracy in Sports Editorials

Annual Business Meeting 2017 – an update

21 July 2017

By Stephanie Steiner and Martin Buckley

Annual Business Meeting 2017 – an update

To be clear – the Alliance Annual Business Meeting will be held.

It will be after the close of the regular season and is planned to be held in The NINETY.

The event will be live streamed.

We recognize that the Annual Business Meeting is important, yet at the same time it’s also not terribly convenient for many fans. Location, timing, traffic, weather – all conspire against us.

Early this year we began working with the the Club to make the Annual Business Meeting more accessible. That means reaching out to more people, making it easier for the average fan, and yes reduce the expense of a large production. We coordinated with the Club to meet these goals.

To be clear – the Alliance Annual Business Meeting will be held. It will be after the close of the regular season and is planned to be held in The NINETY. The event will be live streamed.

Also as part of these conversations, we closely examined the degree to which people were embracing Sounders’ streamed events. One eye-opening example of the reach of streamed events are S2 games and even the streamed draft for the Zach Scott Testimonial Game.

The NINETY has a limited capacity. Once Front Office, coaching staff, Alliance Council and representatives from Supporter Groups are present, there is even less space for Alliance Members. We plan to hold a lottery for Alliance Members to be at The NINETY for the event.

We then worked with the club on creating something FOR the Alliance as a whole. This resulted in the 13 August 2017 Season Ticket Member Event – for all Alliance Members – a real benefit to you all. Fans, players, behind the scenes – and at a time when we can all enjoy the Seattle summer.

Looking back – the Alliance Annual Business Meeting attracts pretty much the same 700 people. We have gained almost nothing in attendance. When people knew Schmetz would be promoted, we got up to 1200, but we can’t promote him every year. There were huge investments into player interaction, big lures with photo ops – none of these grew awareness. People don’t want to come out on a rainy November night.

We represent all Alliance Members – we have a duty to consider any and all ways to reach out to those that are unable to attend that in-person event. Technology can be the enabler for this.

Our other commitment to you is to review this change. If it does not work – we will change.

As always – thank you for reading and for your support.

6 replies on “Annual Business Meeting 2017 – an update”

Thank you for taking the time to set this up and for your continued efforts with the Alliance Council.

I don’t like the idea of this type of small-venue, access restricted, live-streamed Business Meeting. I feel like it inhibits the open communication that is possible at the regular business meeting format and venue type. Not to mention, allowing the FO the chance to “feel” the response and mood of the alliance. This type of change smacks of avoiding a town hall setup and trying to craft the response they want vice the one that genuinely exists.

If you want a better turnout, pick a more convenient night like a Friday or Saturday evening. I understand those expenses can be prohibitive but I think the choice of day of the week was more impactful than the month or venue.

Thanks again for all of your hard work and efforts on these events and activities. I know you all are volunteers and do a lot behind the scenes. It is appreciated. I just think we should be careful of making any moves or changes that would inhibit communication vice doing things to make it better…rob


Rob – thanks for the comments – much appreciated.

We are working with the club on the planning for the event – and one of the areas we are focusing on is that connection with the Alliance member, the fan, us in the stands. Early thoughts include more Q&A, live questions, live “sentiment” and the like.

Our goal is to reach more people – it’s not just about the in-person at CenturyLink Field concourse, WaMu theatre or another venue. We have fans and STH across the state, across the country. I want to reach folk in the peninsula, those on the east side of the Cascades, those remote. I want to give people an opportunity to watch from home or work.

If you have more ideas on how to drive this – feel free to comment.


Respectfully, I completely disagree with this decision and have voiced my concern with my ticket rep as well. This is a move backwards in my opinion. The club has had a focus of democracy in sports and this makes the club less accountable. fans should be able to go out and ask questions directly. The fact that it was attended by the same 700 people isn’t a reason to get rid of the event. Those 700 people represent the most vocal and invested members of the fan community. You could do the same thing and still add a live stream last year the team didn’t live stream it. That is a bad excuse in my opinion. I’m disappointed by the alliance council being party to this decision.


Can we use Slido or similar to ask questions in real time? We use it for large all-hands at my employer and it works great. up-voting promotes the more sought after questions.


Casey – all good ideas – and yes we are looking at the pre-asked questions and the ability to be interactive during the meeting.


I agree with most of the folks commenting here. This is a mistake. If live streaming was desired, then stream the old meeting format. Why change the format and force folks not to attend in person. The problem with low attendance was a day-of-the-week scheduling problem, not a seasonal problem.

This decision was clearly made before the price gouging occurred for STH renewals. Not surprised the club would want a little more distance between the owners and the fans this year. I am surprised that the council is allowing this to happen. Hard to believe you all wouldn’t have been aware of the eminent price hikes when this meeting format change was rolled out.


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