Categories
2012 Meeting Minutes

Meeting Minutes: March 2012

MEETING MINUTES: 
date/time: Sat, March 17, 2012, 3pm
location: stadium

Attendees (quorum reached): Paul Cox, Greg Mockos, Mark Inderhees, Leann Johnson, Daniel Roe, Justin Williams, Angeline Bounds , Kevin Zelko, Ken Wyatt, Roberta King, Dave Clark, Bob Davis, Rachel Molloy, Ron Lamb, Likkit Pocinwong, Aaron Reed, Mark Winchester…
Observers: Drew Carey, Gary Wright, Bart Wiley, Adrian Hanauer, and other staff

Old business:

  1. Secretary By-Law  Amendment – Approved, will go to full Alliance

Council Secretary   
The Secretary shall keep minutes of Council meetings and shall publish those meetings to the Council, Alliance, and general public.  The Secretary shall maintain, and keep current, a record of the Council Constitution, By-Laws, Resolutions, Commendations, and Membership.

  1. Supporter Group Recognition
    Emerald City Supporters, North End Faithful, Gorilla FC and Eastside Supporters all had representatives in attendance and were able to produce their documentation and speak to their membership numbers and activities. All were approved for recognition for the current season.
  2. Alliance STH Scarf Design Competition for 2013 – Daniel Roe
    Daniel Roe gave a quick update to the progress so far by the working group. Detailed recommendations to be forthcoming next month.
  3. Bylaws Amendment: Binding Votes and Super Majority
    Paul to draft an initial resolution for review (regarding operations, agenda items, supermajority for votes without timely notification, etc ) and possible incorporation into the by-laws.
  4. Resolution urging Portland away game ticket allotment– Paul Cox
    SGs had divided up their allocation by percentage in a prior meeting. Still waiting on final confirmation of ticket amounts (likely 750). There will be 74 tickets available to non SG members this year, which will be distributed by the FO via lottery (2 opposed, all others in favor). Further details to be decided by FO and working group, but may include the ability to access two tickets at once, and require the fans to follow SG and stadium security rules such as meeting in advance of the game to enter as a group. Leann, Roberta and Paul will work in a small group to advice on the issue and report back next month.
  5. Council Communication and Integration of Alliance Feedback
    A communications working group will meet on the issue to compile recommendations and a plan for moving forward.
  6. Selection of Two Alliance Charities – Dave Clark
    There was a discussion about whether allocating Alliance charities would mean bumping current charity partners (something that council members voiced concern about). Tabled until next meeting.
  7. Alliance Council Nominations for 2012 
    Update on the one-seat/one-vote for Alliance members, ETA on form launch “very soon” according to the FO.
  8. Alliance web changes in accordance with Constitution 
    Update on Soundersfc.com progress getting council member info updated, campaigning candidates’ page and SG recognition page/forms. To be rolled into the Communications Committee.

New business:

  1. Proposed Council email list access for Bart Wiley
    Bart has been added to the Council email distribution list

Open Discussion with Council and Ownership:

CARD SYSTEM

Chris from the FO was brought in to answer some questions and hear issues regarding fans getting paper tickets when they requested cards, and vice versus. As well as incorrect “all-inclusive” labels and SG logos on other cards. There will be additional chances for fans to opt into the card system later this year as well, and increasing loyalty programs in the future for discounts and account control as they system evolves.

TICKET REPS

It was also expressed again that it’s important for ticket reps to be giving out a consistent answer when issues or problems arise. Speculating and guessing only adds to the confusion otherwise.

Council continued to push for Qwest for hosting of events, rather than Starfire. And enhanced control and functionality in the Account Manager system.

TICKET RENEWAL ADVANTAGES

2010-2011 STHs have not seen an on-going advantage to renewing, like the 2009 fans. In future 2009 fans may see an increase in ticket prices.

GM VOTE

Drew Carey has begun his “Retain Adrian” campaign, with buttons! There will be a vote at the end of the year to address his retention. A 51% vote of the STH base is required, which will require publicity and turnout.

HAWKS NEST

Council asked about the Hawks Nest. While it is filling, it took longer than expected with slightly lower demand. It remains to be seen how having a large chunk of fans seated in a block will affect stadium atmosphere.

Categories
2012 Meeting Minutes

Meeting Minutes: February 2012

MEETING MINUTES: Sun Feb 26,2012 1pm
location: Stadium

Attendees (17/20): Paul Cox, McKenzie Clark, Evan Kolius, Greg Mockos, Mark Inderhees, LeAnn Johnson, Daniel Roe, Mark Winchester, Justin Williams, Angeline Bounds , Kevin Zelko, Ken Wyatt, Likkit Pocinwong, Roberta King, Dave Clark, Bob Davis, Rachel Molloy

  1. Welcoming new members, membership update:
Re-Elected Council Members Newly Elected Council Members
Dave Clark
Rachel Molloy
Kevin Zelko
Lori Ross
Paul Cox
Leann Johnson
Greg Mockos
Mark Inderhees
McKenzie Clark
Ken Wyatt
Bob Davis
Evan Kolius
Likkit Pocinwong
Justin Williams
Ron Lamb
Mark Winchester
Aaron Reed
  1. Electing New Officers for 2012 – McKenzie Clark led the voting

Honorary Chairman
Drew Carey elected honorary chairman – all in favor

Council President – 1 year term
Paul Cox, Dave Clark – nominated
Paul Cox – elected as president by blind ballot

Council Vice President – 1 year term
Bob Davis – nominated and elected as Vice President by vocal vote

Council Secretary   
Angeline Bounds , Roberta King – nominated
Angeline Bounds – elected as Secretary by blind ballot

Proposed Secretary Bylaw Amendment:  for a vote on next month’s agenda – Rachel Molloy
The Secretary shall maintain, and keep current, a record of the Council Constitution, By-Laws, Resolutions, Commendations and Membership.

Old business:

  1. Formally vote on any Actions, Commendations and Resolutions Passed in 2011 – Rachel Molloy
    Formal recognition of the Commendations and Resolutions passed during the interim between the Council passing the Constitution and Charter, and its official ratification by the full Alliance. (Commendation Open Cup, Away Tickets Resolution, PA Noise Resolution, Scarf Competition Resolution) – All favor and formally approved
  2. 2012 Budget Discussion – Paul Cox
    FO is granting funds to the Council on an “as needed” basis, with requests for funding formally made to the front office. Whenever possible, Council will get requests in before Aug/Sept for budgeting.
  3. Supporter Group Recognition – Paul Cox
    No changes were proposed to the Supporter Group “minimum standards” outlined in the ratified by-Laws. The March meeting has been set aside as the earliest possible date to recognize SGs for the 2012 season. Formerly recognized SGs will be contacted and invited to apply for formal Council recognition at that meeting and an open call will go out for interested SGs who wish to apply. On-going renewals will happen in October for the next year. Formal recognition by Council allows the SG to negotiate directly with the FO on issues, allows them access to away-game SG ticket allocations, and places them formally on the SoundersFC.com website as a recognized Supporter Group.

Dave Clark will work to update SoundersFC.com website info, and will create a google doc space for SGs to check off that they meet each “minimum standards” requirement. SGs attending the March meeting must have two leadership representatives in attendance to speak on behalf of their SG.

 “Bylaw 7) Supporter Groups recognition

Supporter groups are an integral part of the Sounders community and gameday experience.  As such, the Alliance wants to encourage the growth of existing groups as well as the formation of new groups.

The relationship between supporter groups, the Alliance, and the Club, has a unique nature.  As such, it benefits all of these parties to have a set of minimum standards for groups to attain, demonstrating their commitment.

Therefore, for formal recognition as a supporter group, groups must meet the following standards:

  • At least 25 identified, paid members
  • Identified group leadership who are responsible for coordination and can speak on behalf of the group
  • Organized participation as a group in activities like songs, chants, tifo, etc.
  • Established history of conducting supporter group activities for the Sounders
  • Have registered articles of incorporation with their local state

Supporter groups may apply to the Council for recognition, and the Council will invite the leaders of the group to a meeting for discussion prior to a vote.  A majority vote of all Council members present is required for recognition.

Supporter groups may annually request renewal of their recognition from the Council; renewal is automatic (assuming it is requested) and will be schedule yearly in October.

Recognition may be withdrawn by the Council with a two-thirds vote of all Council members present and voting at a meeting; such votes will always be taken with at least one month’s notice to the supporter group in question.”

  1. Resolution Banning Vuvuzelas – Paul Cox
    The Team Store is no longer selling them , and the Front Office has said they are already “banned” from the stadium. Issue tabled.
  2. Resolution Banning P.A. Noise – McKenzie Martin Clark
    The front office responded they will no longer have orca noises on corner kicks or Virginia Mason ads during run of play in 2012. And staff in the booth will be confirming that no other artificial noises are introduced during the run of play. The Council was very happy with this response.
  3. Alliance STH Scarf Design Competition for 2013 – Daniel Roe
    The front office offered two options in response to the resolution…selling a fan scarf in the team store or planning a 2013 scarf. Council voted to continue to work towards a 2013 STH scarf design. A small working group was put together to work out the details (Dan Roe, Angeline Bounds, Rachel Molloy, Roberta King, Likkit Pocinwong) and report back on progress at the next meeting.

NOT FOR PUBLIC DISTRIBUTION OUTSIDE OF COUNCIL AT THIS TIME:

The team may not be having a scarf for fans in 2013, or may have an opt out option for fans who are tired of getting scarfs and would prefer something like a bonus to the team store, etc.

  1. Bylaws Amendment: Binding Votes and Super Majority – Paul Cox
    Tabled until next meeting. Paul to draft an initial resolution for review/discussion and possible incorporation into the by-laws.
  2. Resolution urging Portland away game ticket allotment – Paul Cox
    Tabled until next meeting with formal proposals to be submitted by council members for consideration. It does look like we may have additional tickets allocated in response to the away ticket resolution…formal announcement to come from the Front Office if so. The Council confirmed they are excited to accept the tickets and will be deciding how to allocate them in future meetings. General options and ideas were discussed…including a lottery for a non-SG ticket allocation, SGs only deciding how their tickets will be divvied up between recognized groups, and discussions surrounding GA seating versus seated tickets and how that will affect traveling fan experiences/expectations.

NOT FOR PUBLIC DISTRIBUTION OUTSIDE OF COUNCIL AT THIS TIME:

This year another 300 Portland and 750 Vancouver away game tickets will be allocated to Sounders fans. (800 Portland / 1250 Vancouver …exact numbers to be confirmed later)
1) how many, if any should go to non-supporter group ticket holders
2) how to divide remaining tickets among supporter groups

  1. Soliciting Alliance Feedback Next Year – Roberta King
    Tabled until next meeting. Roberta suggested a “communications working group” to tackle this issue (regarding getting wider Alliance feedback and involvement either through FO emails or surveys to the wider Alliance, end-of-year question requests, integration of any feedback from last year’s EOY meeting into council agenda, review of sounders survey results, etc) and the related council communications issue (regarding getting the word out on resolutions, commendations, etc). She’ll be bringing a formal proposal next meeting.

New business:

  1. Selection of Two Alliance Charities – President
    Dave Clark will formalize proposals for next meeting, begin organizing a committee to tackle the issue, and will take suggestions from other council members on who and how to decide Charity Partners.
  2. Golden Scarf Ceremony – President
    FO recommends giving two Scarves away in 2012 – one on opening night and one at the last regular season home match on Oct 21st. FO requested Council’s feedback on the matter. Dave Clark proposed the opening match and the Cascadia Cup games for the golden scarf ceremony (three total). Majority voted in agreement…though there were a few who abstained or voted nay.
  3. Alliance Council Nominations for 2012/2013 – Paul Cox
    Still no ETA for actual launch of the one-seat/one-vote for Alliance members…though reportedly the technical system is in place. Voting will continue to be suspended.
  4. Resolution on Future Kit Designs for 2014 – Dave Clark Tabled….next meeting
  5. Resolution on Pre-Season Open Practices – Dave Clark
    Tabled
  6. Alliance web changes in accordance with Constitution– Angeline / Dave Clark / Dan Roe / Roberta
    Team will report back next month on updates to the Sounders FC site information for Councilmembers, Supporter Groups, and campaigning candidates.
  7. Recognition of former councilmembers – Dave Clark

Dave will write a thank you on the blog.

  1. Public Alliance & Council Communication – McKenzie Clark
    There was a general discussion around the need for publicizing Council resolutions, recommendations and agreed upon Council positions or facts via public media (twitter, the blog, website, facebook, traditional press, etc). It was agreed that this currently fell under the President’s responsibility according to the by-laws to disseminate or delegate (not personal opinion as the Blog or personal twitter accounts allow, but for council-only dissemination). Paul will move forward with setting up a Council Facebook page and the Twitter page, and the other Council officers will have admin access. Some of these plans may also overlap with on-going Communications Work Group plans or proposals, and will be revised as needed by Council.
  2. Discussion on Club/Council conflicts of interest – Paul Cox
    There was a discussion on the issue of council members possibly attempting to get jobs with the Club and whether Council should have a policy about that. At this time, the council doesn’t feel that it would cause a conflict of interest, but did encourage those on Council to openly disclose if they were involved in future. If a councilmember would like to bring a formal resolution or amendment they can add it to a future agenda.
Categories
2011 Meeting Minutes

Meeting Minutes: November 2011

MEETING AGENDA:
Sunday Nov 13th, 1-4pm
Starfire Sports, banquet room
(12/22) LeAnn Johnson, Greg Mockos, Lori Ross, Dave Clark, Katie Pendleton, Angeline Bounds, Mark Inderhees, Roberta King, Paul Cox, Ken Wyatt, Dan Roe, Rachel Molloy

Observers: Ron Lamb, Mark Winchester, Evan Kolius

Old business:

  1. Publicizing the Charter, Bylaws and Constitution Alliance Vote – Dave Clark
    Tentatively voting requested to take place Nov 28th – Dec 11th…supporting ratification. Council is waiting on the Club business PR team to review and approve the press release for distribution. Council has requested a longer review period for publicizing and promoting the vote (2.5week minimum) if the timeline is delayed (possibly until after the MLS Cup). It will be important for members and supporter groups to help get the word out via social media channels in repeated blasts. Alliance Council blog will be getting one block of homepage space on-going in the next redesign.
  2. Finalize Dec General Meeting Plans – Tom Challinor/Paul Cox
    December 13th, WaMu theater, 7pm. Tom had a meeting on Monday with Bart. Basic agenda of meeting will be a lot like last year. This year is a joint effort, but in future years the Club would like to see the Council taking over. Doors open at 6:30pm…pre-meeting activities to include as many players as they can for greeting, photos, and autographs. Posters with the Constitution and Alliance Charter will be posted. Questions for the meeting (as well as those gathered from the site) will be gathered by the Alliance Council at a table. As well as a table for trophies and a message book for Kasey Keller.

    MC will be Tom Challinor. Council report from McKenzie. Update on Charter/Constitution voting results. Gary Wright will give the business update. Adrian Hanauer the team update. Q&A…aggregated questions will be filtered and compiled to avoid repetition and ready for display. Three different groups will respond to the questions. The business meeting is not being broadcast or webcast.

  3. Resolution urging Portland away game ticket allotment – Paul Cox

RESOLUTION TO THE CLUB

The Sounders FC Alliance Council urges our front office to actively work with the Portland Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps to increase the number of tickets available for games in Portland and Vancouver. The 2011 Sounders matches in these cities were extremely successful and popular amongst Sounders fans. We feel that greater success and enjoyment would be shared if the number of available tickets were to increase.

In accordance with standards around the world and our own desires as fans of our club, the Council finds it in the best interest of its constituents to strongly recommend that the largest ticket allotment possible for traveling Sounders fans be pursued for each Cascadia match, in all competitions, each season.
Portland should have stadium flexibility to sell more tickets in future. Our current request is for “more” tickets from the offices for Cascadia games…and if granted, future Council decisions would decide “how” those tickets would be distributed. Schedules for next season are still being discussed, but Sounders will still be able to take large traveling groups down. All voted in favor of the resolution.

  1. Database Requests from the Council – Paul Cox
    Paul met with the new CRM staff. They haven’t picked a vendor for a new ticketing system but we were able to pass off our data base requests. (One vote possible for every seat, be able to designate members/seat each year for Alliance membership), supporter group designations, able to check if an Alliance member has voted on something, etc) Some season ticket holders received a “loyalty card system” survey from the Club…on whether using their card and getting award would be appeal to them, so it sounds like the new system is still being fine-tuned in many ways.

New business:

  1. Bylaws Amendment: Binding Votes and Super Majority – Paul Cox
    There was discussion around the need to firm up a written set of rules for our own operations, agenda items, supermajority for votes without timely notification, etc. Giving people advanced notice for important votes so members can attend as needed. Paul drafted an initial resolution that was reviewed and discussed…but it was decided that these changes should be tabled until next season for proper super-majority status and possible incorporation into the By-laws.
  2. 2012 Budget Discussion – Paul Cox
    In the past, Council budget has be set at zero and any legitimate expenses approved on a case-by-case basis. Council brainstormed possible needs for next year to request in advance as a budget…some of which were previous fan displays that were labeled as coming “from the Alliance”. This would formalize them as truly being from the “fans” instead of the Club. (examples include the Charlie Davies and Steve Zachuani tributes, as well as the Kasey Keller award). Council will be speaking to the club about allowing larger fan displays like this to be handled by the Council on an on-going basis as a starting point.
  3. Supporter Group Recognition – Paul Cox
    Finalize the procedure and steps for groups seeking official Alliance recognition.
    Tabled until next year for full integration in the by-laws via super-majority.

(tentative) Beginning Feb 2012, every current Sounders supporter group would reapply for official recognition (and only need to request yearly renewal of their recognition in subsequent years via email). Dave Clark will set up an online submission form based on the by-law requirements already in place for those wishing to apply for official recognition by the Council next year (which grants Supporter Groups official recognition in dealings with the Club and their staff).  Submissions for recognition would then be included on the next Alliance Council agenda, with a representative from the group to attend that next meeting to speak on their Support Group’s behalf.

  1. Soliciting Alliance Feedback Next Year – Roberta King
    A request will be made for inclusion in Club emails or homepage articles once or twice a year to solicit fan feedback to the Council…helping to ensure fans continue to have their voices heard throughout the year. This is in response to the positive feedback/response received by the “call for questions” for the General Meeting.
  2. Resolution Banning Vuvuzelas – Paul Cox
    Unable to vote. Tabled until 2012.

The Club must be given advanced notice of any resolution the Council wishes to send to a full Alliance vote. This way, the club can have a representative in attendance at that meeting to speak to the issue, before Council votes on whether to send it to the larger Alliance vote.

  1. Resolution Banning P.A. Noise – McKenzie Martin Clark


RESOLUTION TO THE CLUB

In an effort to maintain an organic, fan driven atmosphere, Seattle Sounders FC shall not introduce any noise, music, announcement, or advertisements through any auditory medium in an attempt to impact the atmosphere during any Seattle Sounders FC match. This includes all times during regulation, overtime periods, or a penalty kick shootout. This includes times during which play has stopped, which includes but is not limited to: substitutions, fouls, goal kicks, corner kicks, and penalties.

This resolution does not apply during times before kickoff, during halftime, or after the final whistle.

 

Examples from the 2011 season include, but are not limited to: the Virginia Mason Advertisement, “Orca” noises on corner kicks and enhancements to the “Boom-Boom-Clap” cheer.

This resolution does not apply to the fans of either the Seattle Sounders FC or the visiting team’s fans.

Announcements of match events, emergencies, or other priority information are always exempt from this restriction.

  1. Alliance Scarf Design Competition – Dan Roe
    All voted in favor.

RESOLUTION TO THE CLUB

Supporting the creation of a “Design a Seattle Sounders FC Scarf” Competition.

 

Whereas, the scarf can be worn anytime as a symbol of the fan’s love and loyalty for the Seattle Sounders FC;

 

Whereas, the scarf is worn in good weather and bad;

 

Whereas, fans raise their Scarves Up during key moments before, during and after the match;


Whereas the Seattle Sounders FC continues to draw record crowds in MLS of talented and creative supporters as evidenced by the TIFO displays throughout the stadium;

 

Whereas, the Seattle Sounders FC offers the only members association in professional sports in the United States; and

 

Whereas, the Seattle Sounders FC Alliance is a Democracy in Sports: Now, therefore, be it

 

Resolved, That the Seattle Sounders FC Alliance Council,

 

SECTION 1: SUPPORT FOR DESIGN A SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC SCARF COMPETITION

 

The Seattle Sounders FC Alliance supports the efforts by the Seattle Sounders FC to create a competition for Seattle Sounders FC Alliance Members to design the season ticket holder scarf for 2012 (or 2013 as time permits).


SECTION 2: ELEMENTS THE COMPETITION SHOULD CONTAIN

 

  • Entrants – Any person may submit a scarf design during the time the competition is open.

 

  • Judging – Any submitted scarf design will go through the following process

 

  • a panel consisting of Seattle Sounders FC officials and Council Members will determine the top five designs; and

  • the top five designs will be put to a vote of the Seattle Sounders FC Alliance.
  1. Resolution on Kit Input – Dave Clark
    Table until 2012… resolution asking for fan input on kits in future.
  2. Resolution on Pre-Season Open Practices – Dave Clark
    Table until 2012.

NEXT MEETING:  First meeting of next season will be in Feb 2012. Details TBD.

Categories
2010 Meeting Minutes

Meeting Minutes: July 2010

ALLIANCE COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES:
July 2010

(Due to time constraints, this is exactly what individual Council members sent in as comments… no lead in and no editing)

1) Can we vote to have the Match C be a CCL match? This would be a  great opportunity to educate our fanbase on a prestigious competition.

2) Did I miss the golden scarf voting for the Celtic match? Celski is a cool kid, but I thought we decided who got the golden scarf? or is this out the window now?

3) Ensure that the vuvuzela does not take over our great atmosphere…I would like a committment from FO that its not sold in the stadium.

4) In game ads, its a continuing problem as well as the band playing during the run of play.

5) Has the FO solved the “email” issue about only account holders getting FO emails? I know that the owners thought this was a concern, but has there been any progress on this issue?

6) Game day in stadium announcer: can we have him slow down so that the fans can yell the players last name?  It would be very cool imho if he said ” Nate….” and the rest of the stadium replied “JAQUA!”. I also don’t always catch this, but I rarely hear the name of the scorer be announced.

———————-
I highly second number 6…

I  know that was the intent from the beginning of last year, but not sure why it was missed and not followed up on.

Fans would love this and it is a simple, simple implementation.
————————-
Huge backing of #1 from me

When are we getting feedback from Council’s monthly comments?
What happened to the conference calls?  The website still states that we have monthly conference calls.

————————
Kudos for adding Big Al Brewery to the beer choices at Qwest.  People would love to see even more local beer choices available (Manny’s, etc).  Supporters often complain that you can find many different beers at Safeco, but hate that Qwest is so limited.

I strongly agree with not selling vuvuzela’s in the stadium and encourage some sort of policy to help control their use.

I am also bummed, as are others who stand near me, that commercials and the band continue to play during the run of play.

I would like more feedback/communication from the FO in regard to ideas/issues brought forward from the Council.  Most of our communications have been in regard to which one of us would be giving the golden scarf away.

—————————–

– Vuvuzelas.  I hate them- they should be banned, period.  I don’t care if the team sells them, but they shouldn’t be used.-Championship banners.  The top level of American soccer in 1995 and 1996 was the “A-League”, the American Professional Soccer League.  It later merged with the USL. In 95 and 96, the Seattle Sounders were the champions of the A-League. Those banners should proudly hang from our rafters. As far as the other items, we discussed the rhythm of the stadium announcer a while back.  It’s still an issue.  Getting the fans MORE involved in bonding with and cheering/yelling/chanting for our team is a Good Thing.   The announcer skipping opponents’ names because they’re hard to pronounce is pretty lame, too.  (And how tough is “Ki Sung-Yong”, anyway?) The Golden Scarf is not working.  It’s boring, it’s too far before the game, and the system set up to pick recipients doesn’t work for me, either. I say again, make it a more or less replica of the 12th Man Flag deal the Hawks have.  Do it almost immediately before kickoff, up in the spot in the Brougham (south) end of the stadium, and take out all the ridiculous pomp and girls in tight pants.  They’re hot and all, but whatever.  I won’t miss ’em when they’re gone. Instead, just present it, scarves up while the teams shake hands with each other and the ref, and then boom, let’s go with the game.

———————-
–  No more Vuvuzelas.
–  Yes, to hanging the banners.
–  Totally second item #6.
–  Does Golden Scarf need to be every home game?  Maybe just a few select games. And yes presenting right before kickoff would be nice.  No comment on the Golden Scarf girls.  If Golden Scarf will continue then there needs to be some fine tuning of this whole process, hopefully coming up with ideas to making it better.
–  I would like to know the FO’s comments on the issues we have discussed so far and if anything has progressed.
——————————————
–  Friendly Match 3 being a CCL match is a great idea, +1. –  I’ve never been a fan of the golden scarf ceremony. At first it was kind of cool to recognize Seattle icons but now it just seems cheesy. I’m all for discontinuing it completely. If this does continue it MUST NOT be right at kickoff. The ECS and the NES do their tifo displays at that time. Some of you may not think it’s that big of a deal but I can guarantee that both those groups do. Tifo is for the players and to get the stadium amped up. I think kick off-timed golden scarf ceremony would detract from that. –  All vuvuselas should be melted down and turned into earplugs to be used while thundersticks are thundersticking. Seriously though, we all watched the world cup and we all know how annoying the bbrrrzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz was. We don’t need that to happen at qwest. –  It would be great if the announcer said the name of the goal scorer.

Categories
2010 Meeting Minutes

Meeting Minutes: May 2010

ALLIANCE COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES:
May 2010

Security Outside Qwest – As discussed previously, security outside Qwest needs to be addressed.

–   “ I’m very disappointed to hear about and personally witness that, once again, Sounders fans encountered problems with some of the visiting supporters today.

I specifically stated at our council meeting earlier this year that hostile situations were presenting themselves in Sounders related areas outside the confines of Qwest. Seattle Police/Qwest security/whoever have not had a significant enough presence to prevent these tense moments from turning violent. Luckily –I cannot speak for everyone, but to my knowledge…– nothing has taken a turn for the worse, and we’ve all gone our separate ways without anything more than a few choice words.

Until today.

I’m frustrated and angry that my complaint has apparently slipped through the cracks, especially when I singled out the San Jose supporters as being particularly troublesome. I also thought Gary Wright in particular had taken my warning seriously, but maybe I was mistaken.”

–   “bummed to hear that something went down, but not at all surprised. i walked past these guys about 10:30 with my 4 year old and they promptly told me to “F off” after doing nothing but walk past them. that was a great experience. i then watched them threaten everyone else that walked by we left for a bite. i texted a few people i knew in the march to the match saying that the SJ thugs were sitting there, right at the end of the march, waiting to start some trouble, and it sounds like they did.”

Communications – Is Council’s monthly email submittal the best communication tool?  Several comments received from Council relate to receiving updates or responses from Council’s comments.  We would encourage a more open venue or forum for communications between the Front Office and Council.

–    “We have only received a response from one of our ‘April’ Council comments, related to the Golden Scarf Nominations.  I would like to get more feedback on all the main topics we bring to the Front Office.  There’s not enough information exchange.  I found the most helpful tool from our previous communications (Conference calls) was the exchange of ideas and stated responses to issues we brought to the discussion”

–   “I would like an update on how the decision was made with the horns. Last year we brought it up, and while I haven’t seen any for sale this season, it would be intriguing if the reason had anything to do with what we had said.

An update on Drew’s idea to have sub-accounts for voting rights and email notification.”

Categories
2010 Meeting Minutes

Meeting Minutes: April 2010

ALLIANCE COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES:
April 2010

VOTING (One vote per seat) – Council seems to be in support of the ‘one seat, one vote’ idea.  Drew Carey’s suggestions of having a name associated with every seat and vote seemed to be the most favored idea… although, there was still some concern for giving too much control to a corporation or ticket broker.  Ideas varied from having an exception for large ticketholders by giving a percentage vote per seats, or max number of votes (4?) per acct, to using an ‘opt in’ type email address idea.-          “I’m in support of adding a 4 vote limit per account.  I don’t like the idea of someone being able to be overrepresented.”

–          “It seemed to me that the sub-account system that Drew Carey crafted is ideal. It allows greater email access by the club…   it limits the likelihood that brokers and corporate interests flood the Council”

–          “I’m partial towards an opt-in style voting system. If account holders with multiple tickets register a name and e-mail address, and that person confirms this registration (via e-mail I assume), then they receive an additional vote. This can be done as many times as the person has tickets. If the account holder does not have more than 1 ticket, or does not register an additional name to the account, than no additional votes are awarded.”

–          “For large corporations who buy 400 season tickets, is it possible to give them a percentage of account holders based on the number of tickets they buy?  For every 25 season tickets they buy, they get 1 account/vote.  This would be a guideline for big corporations….  For smaller account members ( households who buy 3 or 4) we ask them while they are purchasing season tickets if they intend to share their season tickets or if they would like just one person as the official account holder.  If they … provide the others full names, e-mails, and mailing addresses before the transaction even goes through…  Those who want to have a say will take the time to have more than 1 account/vote.”

–          “One seat, one vote, with a provision that an account holder needs to be a certain age or older- say 14 to 16ish?    Corporate accounts should be prohibited from voting at all.  The Supreme Court might have said that corporations are people and have total free speech and can spend whatever they want, but the Sounders don’t have to…   Truly dedicated soccer fans who are at Microsoft can (and almost certainly do) buy their own season tickets anyway.  They therefore get their vote from there.  I would throw in a provision that if there’s a ‘corporate’ account that was purchased by a group of folks, and they want to convert it to a personal account, that should happen..”

–          “I like giving a name to every seat to enable the change to one seat, one vote.  If a name/email is supplied, more people will be able to participate in ‘Democracy in Sports’ while also becoming more informed.   No need to limit voting age as parents paid for the seat and should still receive the vote.  As well, parents can get their kids involved in the process, if they are interested… wouldn’t want to take Jr. Capo or other young highly involved supporters vote away.  FO really can’t judge who should vote.  Everyone should have the opportunity.”

–          “I think that Drew’s idea from our last meeting would work, but I’m also a proponent for changing to a one vote per ticket system. The issue of large corporations potentially manipulating the councils decisions due to the fact that they would have a vote majority if we went to the ‘one vote per ticket’ system is silly. Yes they would have more votes than any other group of people but that wouldn’t matter because the council would be much larger so their ‘advantage’ would average out. Plus, let’s not kid ourselves, the council has power to make decisions but only the decisions that the FO allows us make.”

AWAY FANS – Council seems overwhelming concerned with keeping seats available for out of town teams, so that there will be seats available to us when we travel.  This year isn’t as big of a concern as next year, when Portland and Vancouver join the league.  Talks with Portland and Vancouver should begin now.

–          “I strongly support accommodating a large number of away fans, so we are treated accordingly.”

–          “I also strongly encourage as many away fans to be allowed in as practical. The LEAGUE needs it. Most of the stadiums are too small for the sport to ever succeed.” –          “This year isn’t an issue for this.  Nobody is going to bring more than 200 fans to our stadium.  What I would like to see (league-wide, actually) is …that every stadium has to set aside at least 250 seats (if they want to do more that’s allowed) and leave them available for sale until 14 days prior to the game, at which point the unsold tickets can be released to the home fans if the home club so chooses. I think the Sounders can lead the way by doing this.  If we’re so sure we’re going to sell every seat for the entire season anyway, then having a couple hundred come onto the market with two weeks to sell them won’t be an issue.”

–          “I would like to get the research/statistics of the number of tickets sold for each team’s visiting fans that came to Qwest per game and number of tickets Sounders fans bought or were put aside for us at away games.  We can alter the number of seats per game we give to visiting teams based on these facts and their factors such as visiting fans’ traveling costs, distance, the rivalry between the 2 teams, and most importantly their fan base… I think it can be predicted easier with the statistics in front of us and help is come to an agreement based on these facts.”

–          “I say the more the merrier. It shouldn’t matter if they can’t reciprocate the number of tickets we provide to them. Some of them can’t even physically accommodate large numbers of people in the stadiums. All that matters is the level of support WE generate. I can tell you from experience, when there is more away support at one of our home games our intensity level rises to the occasion. It’s a pride thing. Just stick em’ all in the 300 level.”

GOLDEN SCARFThe new idea hasn’t been received well.  Even though many agreed to help with the nominations, Council feels the club’s idea wasn’t executed properly.  It has actually become a joke, changing the tradition into something completely different.

–          “I vote to strongly remove membership council from handling the Golden Scarf debacle and nomination.  Too much work and the FO found a way to push off a bunch of crap work, and label it democracy in sports.”

–          “I haven’t heard anyone say much of anything nice about the Golden Scarf this year.  I don’t get why the club is trying to pretend it’s not like the raising of the 12th Man Flag that the Seahawks do when it looks like it was modeled after exactly that.   Not to take anything away from any of the nominees, but the club’s process for the whole thing is a load of crap and frankly I’m not taking part in it.  Had we voted on it and had control over the process instead of it being decided and sloughed off onto us, that would be different.”

–          “I noticed on the Sounders Facebook wall there were long discussions/comments about the Golden Scarf and most said they felt like it was kind of a joke.”

FRIENDLIES – There was strong support that no politically tainted clubs should be considered for our ‘Friendly’ matches.

–          “I would also like to state that the FO should stay away from bringing politically tainted teams to Seattle for friendlys.” –          “I object to clubs that have used bigotry to generate profits from coming to Seattle and play in “friendlies.” The team claims that community is a core value, and for that to be true than the community’s values should be respected. There should quite simply be some standard to be met by teams visiting the community.”

OTHER ISSUES MENTIONED – Several other issues were mentioned, although not enough comments to add as a subject for themselves. –          Horns – “We were once promised that we would hear back on the horns, and whether our words last year had an effect on them being sold/not sold. It would be great to see the results of that.”

–          Alliance Correspondences– “We’re too big for email.  IMO, we should set up our own bulletin board forum.  When it comes to online communication, emails to groups works up to a certain number of people, and beyond that it doesn’t work.  We’re past that number and will likely have a few more members join us this year.
If we want to do it then I can have it up and running within a few or several days.  We can even give Bart and the owners access (read-only if we so choose) to the BBS/forum so they can see what is going on.  Plus we can do polls and votes that way if we want.” –          Beer –          No Ads/band during run of play.  Ads too loud at halftime. –          Cameras blocking some season ticketholders views.

–           Fans wonder why there’s not an extended time clock or if reg. clock can continue to run.

–       Fans wonder why Sounders victory lap starts at midfield.  Some sections feeling excluded (Sections 110-114).

Categories
2009 Meeting Minutes

Meeting Minutes: August 2009

ALLIANCE COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES:
8/27/09  Conference Call

MLS Supporters Summit and Cup Final
Planning will begin next week between the Sounders Supporters Groups, MLS and Sounders FC in preparation for the Nov. 22nd Cup Final weekend festivities and events. Stay tuned for more details from the Supporters Groups and Alliance Council!

Sounders FC has been in talks with the MLS to find ways to ensure and encourage that Sounders fans show up for the Cup Final and host an enthusiastic, full stadium, to represent Seattle well across the league and finish out our inaugural season strong! It will be Fall in Seattle, so the weather may not be great…but we still need to drag ourselves out of bed and show why Seattle is the best home for soccer in the nation.

We were asked to share any ideas we might have on encouraging local attendance. There is talk of trying to provide a musical act at pre-game or half-time (The Council felt it would take a fairly well-know name to create a real draw). Other ideas discussed were to: encourage people to donate their ticket to a person who hasn’t had the chance to enjoy a game yet, send out a Sounders players to the sections to watch the game with fans, or provide a pre-game festival in the North Lot similar to the Mexico/China match.

Season Ticket Deposits and Renewals

There have already been 6,000 deposits of $50 each put down by those wishing to get season tickets next year. If projected renewals are high, the front office will again be considering the pros and cons of opening up additional seating capacity at Qwest.

There was a great deal of feedback heard by the Front Office regarding the standing or sitting issue early in the season, but they have heard less concern as the season progressed, and renewal preferences may better inform the situation. In general, it appears that the charter-level 100 seats prefer to stand, and club-level 200 seats prefer to sit, with the majority of those preferring to stand concentrated behind the goal ends (with the Supporter Groups), and sitters concentrated near mid-field. If you are an Alliance Member and have a specific seating request for next year, please contact your ticket rep and let them know now, so they can note it on your account, and can work to accommodate your needs. Renewal calls from ticket reps will be beginning very soon.

2010 Sounders Schedule
The good news is, the groundskeepers at Qwest have been able to turn over the field from soccer lines to football lines quickly, and will only get better with time. But, Qwest has an agreement with the city that only allows a certain number of games to be played at the same time as the Mariners. The Alliance Council felt that they were hearing a preference for night games from the fans for next season and passed that along, though again, scheduling for the Mariners and Seahawks will come into play.

While we definitely were given a treat this year with two exhibition games and the Cup Finals, there will be exhibition games included in our season ticket packages next season. After very successful Barcelona and Chelsea matches (with Chelsea speaking well of Seattle on their return), the front office has been hearing interest from other English and Mexican league teams interested in visiting Seattle. In addition, MLS will be watching the 2010 World Cup situation and how it impacts the league schedule. Though most World Cup matches should be airing in the morning (unless on replay), and won’t overlap with evening Sounders games. There might also be the possibility of Training Camp being open to fans next year (similar to what the Seahawks have offered in the past). Council members thought fans would be interested in attending training camp if access was possible.

2010 Open Cup
The conversation continues regarding the use of Starfire vs. Qwest as the location for Open Cup matches next season. While Starfire has parking, seating, access and facility limitations…it did provide an intimate and alternate viewing environment for fans, which many enjoyed. They are looking into getting a better turf playing surface installed, and exploring ideas for solving seating and parking issues. While many on the Council voiced a strong preference for Qwest (as it would likely mean a larger draw), others acknowledged that Starfire had worked pretty well, and Qwest would likely draw around 10,000 fans vs. Starfires 3-4,000.

Miscellaneous
There was additional conversation surrounding the Broadcasters, PA Announcer, all of which will also be considered anew as we approach next year. Plans for the pre-game, in-person Council meeting continue.

Categories
2009 Meeting Minutes

Meeting Minutes: July 2009

ALLIANCE COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES:
7/23/09 posted

A report from the July 8th Alliance Conference Call with the Sounders own Bart Wiley

First In-person Meeting of the Alliance Council
Date to be set in the near future, prior to a home game near, or at, the stadium (several hours prior to pre-function activities, so all can attend).

Improvements to the Council Voting system
While not perfect, the vote system this season has sufficed. Whether a “one seat=one vote” model is possible or preferable is still up for debate, both logistically and in terms of balancing corporate, ticket broker, individual or other group purchaser’s representational power…while still allowing individual fans to feel they are getting value from their Alliance Membership and Season Ticket (personal vote, discount card, email communication).

There have been some limitations to the current vendor voting software, in that season ticket holder access was processed in batches causing some access problems. Next year, the possibility of a streamed feed is being looked at. Unfortunately, there isn’t a public access point for the software to allow public access to vote standings.

Section Preferences for Next Season
Many fans this season found themselves in sections that were non-conducive to how they hoped to enjoy the game…whether preferring to sit, stand, wave flags, blow horns, proximity to the band, beer consumption…or otherwise. Ticket reps will be calling season ticket holders soon to discuss renewals, and will be asking about fan experience this year, and asking what they’d hope for next year.

The Council heard from many fans this season who felt they were in the wrong section…also, many were still accessing section preference tools available at Ticketmaster and Sounders FC. The Council recommended updating these tools with current preferences and profiles for sections so renewing season ticket holders can make more informed decisions.

Plastic Horns
Under consideration…as there’s a range of strong opinions regarding their use/sale…both pro and against. Council members reported hearing from many dissatisfied fans and hearing of several confrontations arising from disagreements over horns at games.

Vancouver and Portland preparations for 2011
Sounders FC has been in contact with Vancouver and Portland. There will be reserved sections for visiting supporters at both Qwest (section 203) and the rival cities. Their season ticket holder sales may impact how many extra seats will be available for traveling Sounders fans. The Council also strongly suggested preparing now for strategies to keep fan separation between teams at games…as a way to head off conflicts, and commended the good work done so far at Qwest and gave some suggestions for improvement. The Sounders FC is also already in discussions with the other teams regarding this issue. Regarding traveling supporters. At this time Sounders FC will not be organizing travel arrangements, but will assist supporter groups as they are able. This may be reviewed next year to see if changes are needed.

Partial season ticket holders from the band move
Discussed previously…it was felt value/alliance status should be given to those who put money up early for season tickets. Also, many moved from other areas of the stadium and already enjoyed STH status.

International Supporters Clubs
The front office will be focusing on building the club for the immediate future, and encouraged Council members or those hoping to help support international clubs to put together a plan for review/consideration. One suggestion was for international groups to consider the successful ECS model, putting together a package for international fans (scarf, pin, membership card, etc) and letting it grow organically.

Council Impact and Responsibilities
The Council heard back that they are indeed having an impact, and Sounders staff have been pleased with the feedback they’ve been getting. They assured us that they are hearing the fans. The Council is also acting as a sounding board and stewards for the club/brand, and the Front Office is working to take our initiatives under consideration and into action. In the future, the Council would like to continue to have their discussions available on the Sounders FC site blogs, to better keep the fans connected and informed. And keep an eye out for more issue threads on the forum.

Categories
2015 Meeting Recaps

Meeting Recap: September 2015


Photo from SoundersFC.com

By Karl Picard

September 15th, 2015

There were no guests at this month’s meeting. We mainly discussed current events like the scarf design contest and season ticket renewals as well as business around the bylaws. The meeting took place at The Ninety with 15 people in attendance.

Hopefully, most of you have seen the scarf design contest is open for submissions. Final day to get them in is today.  The Alliance Council scarf committee will then review the submissions and determine the finalists. The voting for the scarf is scheduled to be 10/2 – 10/9, not much time so be sure to get your vote in. The weight of the scarf will be influenced by the design and ultimately the club has that final decision.  This is to ensure that the final selection meets all  of the criteria for the production and legal standards.

Season ticket renewals are also currently in full swing. The last day to renew is 9/18.  You should have noticed the opportunity to “renew for life” – Sounders ‘Til I Die. This is really a minor change and hopefully for the better. Since most renew each year, you may now auto renew, and if you decide that you no longer want to do that, just notify your ticket rep and you can opt out of the upcoming season. There were a few from the Alliance Council that reached out to current season ticket holders to discuss their renewals; they were able to help with any questions.  Hopefully they got to some of those reading our recaps.

Then it was onto bylaw changes, for the Supporter Group bylaw (bylaw 7), language around the removal of support group recognition by the Alliance Council was removed.  There was also removal of language on the need to renew, as there is currently no process to support renewal. There is still language in the bylaw around recognition and who can participate to have fan involvement in that process.

There was also discussion around adding a bylaw allowing a leave of absence for council members. This is to ensure those voting on issues and attending meetings with the front office are aware of the topics being discussed within the council and to support some potential changes with the GM voting. There is also a status for council members who cannot attend meetings (they are always on the first Tuesday of the month) but can still provide value to the Alliance Council and ultimately the Alliance as a whole; there are no voting rights with this status.

The final discussions of the night were on the GM vote. While we can’t get into too much here as we are still working out the details with the front office, there will be some changes coming and better definitions on the voting options. We’ve also proposed a change to timing of the Alliance-wide votes.  We hope to be able to supply more details in the near future. This has been a big effort this year for the council and we feel it will strengthen the commitment the club has to democracy in sports.

Feel free to drop a comment or reach out to a council member.  You can always find us on Twitter and Facebook.

Categories
2015 Meeting Recaps

Meeting Recap: August 2015

Photo by Stephanie Steiner.  From Left to Right:  Hans Ulland, Cameron Collins, Kristina Vaughn, Paul Cox, Craig Dillon.

By Stephanie Steiner

August 14, 2015

August’s Alliance Council meeting was designated exclusively for council business without presentations from outside guests.   We had three main areas to cover:  changes to Bylaw 7 (regarding recognition and withdrawal of recognition of supporter groups), updates about our negotiations around GM Vote and GM Recall, and then finally we needed to discuss some of the things that we’ve identified that we’d need to change in our Constitution and Bylaws as a result of these negotiations.

First up was Old Business: In July, a change to Bylaw 7 was proposed (by Stephanie Steiner). The change redacts the lines which allow for a 2/3 vote of the Council members present to withdraw recognition of a supporter group, and redacts the line regarding annual renewal if it is requested.  The original bylaw more than likely was written with assumptions that “Council members present” would be equal to or greater than quorum.  Council also needs to invest time into rewriting other aspects of this bylaw:  create a system for Supporter Groups to request renewals or eliminate that as a requirement, and clearly define where the Council is or isn’t to be involved. In the meantime, this new proposal eliminates any possibility of a very low-populated Council, or one populated with an aggressive anti-supporter group agenda, from damaging the supporter group culture.  The vote was to be held in August, but had to be tabled as we did not meet quorum for the August meeting.

Next, we went through the updates regarding the GM Vote and GM Recall negotiations.  We have been at tentative agreement with the Club regarding GM Vote (granted to us in our Charter) for a few months now, but GM Recall procedures are still in conversation.  Maya Mendoza-Ekstrom had submitted a re-structured proposal immediately prior to the meeting to Cameron Collins and Stephanie Steiner, but neither had the chance to read it prior to the meeting.  The purpose of her re-write was to include the MLS’s definition of a General Manager (one universal definition for the league), and to clarify some elements of the proposed recall process.  Cameron read this definition aloud to the Council members. The Council members present were updated on the last meeting with Taylor Graham and Maya Mendoza-Ekstrom, as well as concerns that have surfaced within our existing Constitution and Bylaws: currently there are too many limitations on when we can send a vote to the entire Alliance, and we are regularly unable to vote on needed changes because we don’t meet quorum.

This brought us to the proposed changes to the existing Constitution and Bylaws:  Firstly: Bylaw 2 limits the Council’s ability to send something out for an Alliance-wide vote to only two periods in one season. In order to have an effective GM Recall procedure, barriers to an Alliance-wide vote need to be removed, which is the reason why new language was presented.  Secondly: the Alliance Council has an attendance challenge.  Historically, once the size of Council doubled at the start of 2013, it hasn’t been uncommon for attendance to range from 30-45%.  In late 2013, Council passed a bylaw changing the calculation for quorum to make voting and forward momentum possible.  This helped us for a few months, but when attendance dropped again, it was no longer helpful.  Language was proposed (by Stephanie Steiner) which allows Council members to take leaves of absence, become Ex-Officio members if they cannot attend meetings but will contribute in other ways, and gives council the ability to remove members who don’t attend meetings but don’t take a leave or move to Ex-Officio status (the ones who don’t participate and don’t withdraw on their own).  This proposal will allow Council to eliminate members from the count that prevents Council from meeting quorum and prevents us from voting.  Without voting, there cannot be a democratic process.

Aaaanddd… That’s a wrap!  Because only 8 people attended the August meeting, there were fewer people in the discussions.  No voting was possible on any of the agenda items.   Until next time…