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2016 Meeting Recaps

Meeting Recap: October 2016

Roger Levesque giving kids soccer skills at the Rave Foundation’s launch event at Yesler Community Center, last July.  Photo by Stephanie Steiner

October 10th, 2016

by Karl Picard

 The first hour of the October Alliance meeting was a discussion around the Rave Foundation provided by Maya Mendoza-Exstrom – General Counsel for Sounders and Executive Director of Rave Foundation.  The Rave Foundation is the charitable arm of the Sounders FC that was started in 2013 internally but official launched to the public in July 2016.  They are a 501 c3 and a close partner to the for-profit Sounders.  They have been working on community outreach and hosting events for kids and communities to get people playing soccer and getting soccer balls into the hands of young people.

For 2017 they will be focused on the following areas: building urban accessible fields (small soccer fields) in the communities that need access to soccer facilities, and creating a culture where pickup soccer can happen – not just the organized, pay to play soccer opportunities for youth.  One such field that has been already built it at Beverly Park Elementary where they built a mini-pitch.

They have big goals over the next 10 years, 5 community small fields, 2 Seattle community-centric small fields (targeting iconic areas), distribute soccer balls (10,000) to area kids,  and continue supporting pop-up games to encourage free play anywhere.  The Foundation wants to remove barriers to participate in soccer, strengthen the communities, and all the ways soccer helps address challenges in our communities.

Yesler Terrace is the first location for the Rave fields (park around the Yesler Community Center). The field will support full field as well as split field games with goals on both ends and sides of the field.  It’s going to be a unique location in Seattle and model for parks going forward.  Not many places in the immediate area have access to soccer fields plus the right leadership and advocates in the community, therefore making this a great location for the first field.

Next up is bringing the Rave field to Pier 62 at the waterfront. There will be a semi-permanent soccer field that will be similar to the Yesler size.  This is the doorstep to Seattle and contributes to the culture of the city.

The Rave Foundation has given out 292 soccer balls and held 83 popup games to date.  They will be working on fundraising and the next locations for Rave fields by reaching out to communities and their leaders.

The remaining hour was spent finalizing some items around the Constitution and By-Law changes (which likely everyone reading this has seen by now), discussion around the scarf vote (over 4,ooo people placed their vote) and the Annual Business meeting, which is scheduled for 11/2. Executive Committee Member, Martin Buckley created this nifty survey if you don’t want to use SSFC’s or your question is longer than 150 characters.

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2016 Meeting Recaps

Chalk Talk: September 17th, 2016

photo from SoundersFC.com

By Stephanie Steiner

September 20th, 2016

On September 17th, immediately following our victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps, Sounders FC hosted a Chalk Talk with fans to discuss Club direction, challenges, and (surprisingly) took live questions from the audience.  This conversation is the result of the Council’s repeated requests to make Garth Lagerwey, General Manager and President of Soccer, more accessible to our Alliance Members.  We are very pleased that the Club heard us and made this event possible. We sincerely hope this can become something that happens multiple times each year.

I have been getting my backside kicked getting escrow closed (silly me, I thought that was the hard part), and now that I have the keys, I also have a new definition of urgent.  So I simply did not get a write-up of the event done as quickly as I’d hoped.  Today, Dave Clark got a great one posted at Sounder at Heart, and I highly recommend you read it here.

photo by Daniel Roe
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2016 Meeting Recaps

Meeting Recap: September 2016

Photo by Taylor Graham

By Karl Picard

This month was not your typical Alliance Council meeting.  For the first time in my service we had a current player visit the meeting (we get former players like Taylor Graham and Roger Levesque to speak with us occasionally).  Stephanie worked a surprise for us into the agenda – more on that later.

First the business part:  The first was beginning the planning for the end of year business meeting that the Alliance Council helps to run.  Kristina Vaughn has managed this project for the last couple of years. We want to improve attendance and make it more valuable to the fans.  If you have ideas feel free to let us know (ssfcalliance@gmail.com).  For now we are working on timing, location, and overall format.

Next up was the Scarf Designs that will lead to the Scarf Vote. This project has also been Kristina’s for the last couple of years. Design submissions are now open (started on 9/8) and will continue through 9/22.  Be sure to get your ideas in, as you could be part of the Sounders legacy.  The voting from the Alliance will be 9/28 – 10/5 and the official announcement is scheduled from the 10/12 game.  The vote for the scarf will also include the Alliance vote on the changes to the Constitution that the Council has finalized.

Finally, you have a chance to meet your Alliance Council reps and those that are looking to get your votes.  Be sure to come to The NINETY before the game on October 12th.

Now back to the beginning: Stephanie (in August) updated us on some really inappropriate communications that have come to the Council email this season – people insistent about meeting players, harassment, even a threat. We thought the “presentation” in the agenda was a follow up to that bit on when communication got “unexpected,” but the unexpected part was Cristian Roldan coming down the stairs behind her.  She worked with Mikaela Purvis and Taylor on that for a while and kept it a surprise for us for all the work we’ve done on the Constitution.

It was great to talk with Cristian about things soccer related, his teammates, about coming to the Sounders, and playing himself in FIFA.  He took an hour answering questions and asking them as well.  Some of the highlights:

  • He joked that his brother would call himself better, so he needed to say he’s better than his brother (who is currently at the UW) but would love to play along side him for the Sounders.
  • He said hands down Chad Marshall is the funniest player on the team, especially on Thursdays when he puts on Stefan Frei’s clothes. He’s such a big guy he stretches them out and then Stef has to wear baggy clothes afterward.
  • He said Ozzie has been the player he’s learned the most from this season, also mentioned that Friberg was another source of knowledge.
  • When asked about the draft and dropping to the Sounders, he said he was the happiest guy and even noted the fist bump gif online by Lagerwey and Schmid.
  • He said he likes to play himself in FIFA and at forward so he can score goals.
  • About his first goal: he kind of blacked out about it. He thinks that Brad Evans might have celebrated more.  Even though they practice that play, it was the best flick from Brad he’d ever gotten – it was perfect.
  • And for me maybe the most important answer he gave was around advice he’d give to young players: When asked what he’d say to the seven to ten-year-olds out there, he said school was really important, they need to be sure to keep their grades up and focus on school. He said he was barely recruited in high school and was lucky some highlight tapes got in the right hands – but that he wanted kids to know it was his grades that got him into the University of Washington.

It was really a fun night, we got some work items addressed, got to have some great conversation with Roldan, and we are ready for the push to the playoffs.  If you are an Alliance Member (Season Ticket Holder), be sure to vote for Alliance Council members so we can continue to work for you.  ‘Til next time.

Be sure to get in touch with us on Twitter, Facebook, or the comments section here on the Blog.

 

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2016 Meeting Recaps

Meeting Recap: July 2016


photo by Karl Picard

By Karl Picard

July 22,2016

The July meeting was in the Sounders offices as The NINETY was being used.  With 20 people in attendance the room was quite warm for the 3 hour meeting (extended to get a bunch of old business done). We started off with a visit from Mikaela Purvis (Director of Fan Relations) to go over the renewal process and notifications the Club was planning to send out over the next month and half.  The highlights of the presentation were:

  • We discussed the Save the Date email which you should have received this week
  • An additional email will be sent around Aug 1st with the full information about the renewal process
  • This year’s auto-renewal: you won’t have to interact with Ticketmaster, Sounders are taking over that area.  You’ll still use the Ticketmaster login but the look and feels will all be Sounders based
  • You will be able to update delivery address, personal info, parking options, and credit card details
  • Accounts that opted for auto-renewal will have an option to verify their info, you don’t have to but you can change the payment plan and other items.  Sept 1st will be the first time they process payments, the amount will depend on your payment plan
  • For those who didn’t sign up for auto-renew, it will be a similar process as last year, with invoices available on August 1 and you will need to process your renewal either online through Ticketmaster, over the phone or at the match on 8/14 or 8/21 prior to the September 1 deadline.
  • All Alliance Members are automatically opted into the relocation process, Sounders FC just needs to process your renewal first in order to be eligible
  • Within the invoice for auto-renewal will be your opportunity to opt-in to a different ticket type other than mobile
  • Payments are the first business day of each month.  The options are full payment on 9/1, 50/50 or the 6 month plan
  • To better help Alliance Members with the bag changes Century Link will implement, those with packages of ½ season or more will get a clear bag, one per seat
  • Additional renewal events are being discussed for the month of August so stay tuned.

Council members were asked for feedback and we provided some in the areas that seemed confusing.  Overall the renewal process seemed much improved from an informational standpoint from last year.

Next we got some updates from our work groups.  The big stuff was the progress made on the Constitution, Articles, and Bylaws.  These were dealing with everything from Council election rules to GM stuff to proposing Alliance-wide votes or Alliance Council statements.  All of this work will need to be finalized in the coming weeks so we can get it out for an Alliance-wide ratification this fall.  Once approved, we’ll have all the changes the Council has worked on for as long as I have been a member in place.

Then it was onto making some changes to how the Council operates.  Moving away from the working groups (or at least for the initial efforts, they might still be used in some cases) to a structured schedule of Strategy Sessions with the Club.  This would allow us to focus in on areas where the Council can better engage the Front Office/Club and have the right people to get some real progress on issues/topics. The ultimate goal of this change is to have the Alliance Council take action and better represent the Alliance.

Another topic was regarding the nomination of Honorary Chairperson of the Alliance Council.  We may get to a point where we designate one annually, so we discussed ensuring Drew Carey is always recognized as the first Honorary Chairperson and the owner who brought us the whole idea of the Alliance.

One final personal note outside of the meeting recap, the Alliance Council is working hard to help improve the overall fan experience.  This year has been suboptimal, to say the least, in many aspects.  There are lots of cries for the Council to do something, and trust me we are working on it.  With really only 20 people working for you in a volunteer effort there is only so much we can do.  We get lots of folks on social media calling on us to get something done, if you want something done: join and help.  These developments that were acknowledged in the Club’s email were the result of a continued and cooperative effort between us and the Fan Relations Team. We are grateful for the open lines of communication between us.

Alliance Member Improvements 2016 MidYear

 

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2016 Meeting Recaps

Meeting Recap: June 2016

By Thom Kephart and Stephanie Steiner

New business at this meeting was a Supporter Liaison Officer resolution proposed by Paul Cox.  This conversation was tabled until we can discuss at greater length and expect to devote time to this topic in our next meeting. The goal of this proposal aligns with the goal of the Alliance which is to positively influence the game day experience.

We had a heated conversation about our productivity particularly around how we are representing the fan voice and progress within our work groups.  Pretty much everyone on the Council agrees that the Council as a whole is not producing enough for the Alliance; i.e. for you. Half way through the season and the Council is short on representatives who are striving to push for change. We are short on action oriented people. This is where you come in; If you think you can make a good contribution to the Alliance, nominate yourself for Council here.  To learn more about what is entailed, check out this blog and this link.

Sometimes our meetings feel like Bill Murray’s Groundhog Day, especially with our June meeting being devoted to voting on Constitutional changes presented in May. However, with repeated efforts we are able to move forward toward the greater good.  Why must we do everything twice?  The Constitution requires that every new Article or Bylaw (or every change – called an amendment), must be presented at one meeting and voted upon at the next.  This provides our Council members with the time needed for consideration.  Usually, there is discussion on the topics at each meeting, because people have ideas whenever they have them, not on a convenient schedule.

Our objective is to have the cleanest possible and most relevant version of the Constitution ready for the Alliance to ratify when we host the annual scarf vote.  The most important section is the addition of General Manager Vote and Recall – this section is not in the Constitution that was ratified in 2011.  Solidifying that work could be extremely important in the future and finalizing the Constitution has a big deadline.

If you’d like to read about some of the other things we’re working on, you can check out this blog.

We’d love to hear from you: hit us up on the comments, Facebook or Twitter.  You can also look back at the meeting minutes for past Alliance Council meetings.

 

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2016 Meeting Recaps

Meeting Recap: May 2016

Photo by Karl Picard

By Karl Picard

The May Alliance Council meeting, which took place at The NINTEY with cardboard cutouts of Clint, Chad and Nelson (not pictured), watching over us, was begun with old business: reviewing changes we’ve been working on to the Constitution and Bylaws of the Council.  This work started last year and we are closing in on the final efforts to get it out to the whole Alliance to be ratified later this season.  This work is in no way sexy but it does pave the way for the Alliance Council to better represent the fans moving forward.

Many of the changes are simple like using ubiquitous language thought the document to allow for easier understanding and creating consistency throughout the Constitution. Other items are around the fact at times the Council is referred to as a corporation, which is incorrect.  Maybe at some point we’ll incorporate, but if we use the word “Council,” we’re accurate now and in the future. We are working on how to make those that purchase any ticket package (not just a full season ticket package) are included in the Alliance.  We’re also working to have an attendance policy for Council Members to ensure they are representing the fans that voted them in, and to ensure they are knowledgeable about what they are voting on by participating in Council business.

We ended the evening with New Business: specifically, discussion around the new bag policy which was released by MLS in late April, the mobile ticketing issues from the 4/30 Columbus game, and the overall customer service the Sounders have been providing.  While we didn’t get deep into specific details, a few members of the Council did discuss writing up some possible opinion statements or blog entries to get deeper into the items we’ve been hearing from fans and experiencing ourselves this season.  We will also continue to explore ways to influence the Club and specifically the front office to respond to the needs of the Alliance Members.

We’d love to hear from you: hit us up on the comments, Facebook or Twitter.  You can also look back at the meeting minutes for past Alliance Council meetings.

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2016 Meeting Recaps

Meeting Recap: April 5th, 2016


photo credit: unknown

By Eric Flatness

Tuesday, April 5 was the third meeting of the year for the full Alliance Council, joined by Taylor Graham as well as Kyle Sheldon (VP of Marketing) and Al Raitt (Gameday Presentation). The club staff at hand garnered much interest right away as Council members peppered the pair with questions about potential and insipient stadium changes, gameday signage and the logistics of showing video replay of controversial plays and decisions.

This meeting came in the immediate wake of the previous weekend’s home loss to the Vancouver Whitecaps, a match that featured two… let’s say “interesting”… penalty kicks for the away team. Raitt was able to clarify the policies that govern what replays are shown on the in-stadium video boards. The league itself has certain guidelines on what can and cannot be shown, and disputed plays are treated gingerly (likely with the intention of avoiding inciting the crowd.) It was brought up that many fans can now watch the plays via their mobile phones (using in-stadium wi-fi no less) and that gifs via Twitter and other social media can make the situation even worse. We were told concerns would be passed on to the league.

Raitt and Sheldon both addressed a noticeable change occurring at the stadium: the inclusion of the wrap-around video boards on the edge of the upper deck. The boards should be fully functional in May, and will include new gameday features as well as old ones (scoreboard) and likely some new advertising opportunities.

Most members of the council were pleasantly surprised with the increased speed getting through security lines since the first match, though it was noted that consistency was still an issue for wanders. Some had heard examples of people being asked to unzip jackets and take off hats while others had not been asked to do so. One problem that no one had was with the mobile ticketing-the new tickets seem to work exactly as intended.

We’d love to hear from you: hit us up on the comments, Facebook or Twitter.  You can also look back at the meeting minutes for past Alliance Council meetings.

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2016 Meeting Recaps

Meeting Recap: March 2016

Democracy in Sports photo from The NINETY

photo credit: Karl Picard

By Karl Picard

March 14, 2016

Our last Alliance Council meeting was on 3/1.  We had 15 members attend the meeting and one member that called in.  The meeting started with the AC chatting with Taylor Graham.  The main focus of the discussion was how things went for the Club America match, which was the first home game using the mobile app tickets and other changes.  Overall the feedback from the Council members, based on conversations with fellow fans and season ticket members combined with what we saw on social media, indicated entry and use of the app was pretty smooth.  We did share some isolated issues with Taylor as well.

Security at the Club America game was another matter we discussed, mostly around inconsistencies. This is an area that we are starting to hear more about and are making sure the Front Office is aware of fan concerns.

We also discussed the changes around MatchPass and the fact there are no longer points but rather random drawings or buy it now options for rewards.   They are also using the info gathered from the users of the app and mobile tickets to send targeted emails to Season Ticket Holders (STH). The direct messages were sent prior to the home opener, so you should have seen one prior to  the KC game.  We discussed how there are language options on the Sounders App, including Spanish. Fans who have set their phone to Spanish saw the app in Spanish. Many commented how this was a step in the right direction coming out of the November Annual Business Meeting.

The council spent time discussing app features with Taylor, including the ability to reach your ticket rep during games from the app’s MatchPass Profile page.   The “My Rep” area contains your rep’s email and phone number and even a quick way to add them to your phone contacts.

A question was raised to Taylor about the capping the resale of GA tickets via the Ticket Exchange. He clarified that capping GA resale is not in affect this year but that is being looked into for next year.

A few other items that we’ve made progress towards were around dynamic pricing and the women’s jersey.  The dynamic pricing was discussed and Taylor clarified that this practicehas been in place for a couple seasons now.  Craig Dillon on the Council called out that the ADA tickets seemed to be mis-priced as they were more expensive than those seats around them.  Taylor looked into the issue with the sales team and it has been resolved.  One note, Taylor mentioned that if you are a fan in need they will do all they can to accommodate you.

Stephanie Steiner brought up the subject of our women’s jersey, citing concerns we’ve received over the years regarding the neckline. This  issue got a lot of attention and you should read more about it on the blog.  (We appreciated all the feedback we got via social media around this subject too!!) The Club and adidas™ have heard our concerns and we will keep pushing on this subject to create positive change.

After finishing with Taylor we moved onto the work groups for the year.  The following list captures the areas we are currently focused on but we’ll continue to refine as necessary as the season progresses:

  • GM Recall and Alliance Council Membership Eligibility – finalize the Charter, Bylaws and Constitution so they can be voted upon in 2016.
  • Support Group – clarification on the bylaw and how Support groups are recognized
  • Visibility Group – social media, blog, outreach and charity involvement to ensure the Alliance Council Members know what is happening and that we are positively impacting area charities.
  • Scarf Vote – ensuring the tradition of our Scarf Vote continues for 2017
  • Kit/Jersey – working with the Front Office to ensure fans have a stake in kit designs
  • Annual Meeting – end of year business review operations
  • Seating Expectations – addressing the sit vs. stand concerns voiced by STMs with the FO and Stadium Operations
  • Women’s Attire/Jersey – working with the Kit/Jersey team, but focused on ensuring there are more options for female fans.
  • STM giveaway – explore options to provide to season ticket members including the traditional scarf vs other items

If any of the above areas are of interest to you or you feel like you have something you want to address as part of fan and game day experiences, we encourage you to run for council. The voting and nomination site is up for the Alliance Council; the more people we have the more change we can impact.

That’s all for March.  Continue to provide feedback via Twitter, Facebook or comments on this blog (scroll down to “leave a reply”).

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2016 Meeting Recaps

Meeting Recap: February 2016

Tweet credited to Likkit Pocinwong

By Stephanie Steiner

February 20th, 2016

This was the first meeting with our new attendance bylaw in effect – four people called in.

We started our meeting with a presentation from Taylor Graham, Mikaela Purvis, and Megan West to cover mobile ticketing, Matchpass rewards, the new mobile app, account representative restructure, and voting.  The news:

  • Sounders invested heavily and built their own app.
  • Matchpasses for entry and pre-printed tickets were going away – entry was mobile only.
  • Matchpass points were going away. For a loyalty program they never really worked, and were a cause for constant frustration.  Charitable support was more aligned with the brand and with the priorities of Sounders Season Ticket Members.
  • Voting: delayed. All efforts being focused on start of the season. Once everything was ready, Primary Account Holders would be able to designate voters from within the app itself. As of this writing, it appears as though voting is still not yet turned on. Primary Account Holders will be able to vote now and start designating voters as soon as it is. The FO is concentrating their efforts on making sure mobile entry works to get people through the gates before they take on anything else.
  • Mobile App: heavy investment into communication with STMs and entertainment options.
  • Account Managers: restructured and reassigned by “neighborhoods” within the stadium. Since they’ll know which seats are vacant on matchday, they can go sit within their sections and be available.  Neighborhood parties being planned.
  • Buy It Now option within MatchPass to generate funds for charity, 1/3 of those funds directed by the Alliance Council to a cause.
  • Mikaela Purvis, Megan West, and Taylor Graham will partner as liaisons to the Alliance Council going forward.

It’s important to note that although several Alliance Council members had been beta testing the app for a little over a week by this point, this is the first we’d heard of ticketing being moved to mobile only.  The November meeting with owners included conversations about mobile ticketing, but not from any perspective of “only.”

After they left, we approved our minutes from the November 2015 meeting and then went around the room and briefly highlighted for each other why we nominated ourselves for the the Alliance Council.  We held our annual elections:

President: Stephanie Steiner (unopposed)

Vice President: Kristina Vaughn (unopposed)

Secretary: Cameron Collins (unopposed)

All three of the above are on the Executive Committee – President and Vice President are automatic.  Also elected to the Executive Committee were Martin Buckley and Daniel Roe.

We then moved into a conversation about our workgroups, we changed the names of some and added a few more.  I left one off inadvertently (women’s attire), but since it’s already been created we don’t need to vote it into existence – it already exists, we just need someone to lead it.

We have far more workgroups than our twenty-three members will be able to manage, we will have to prioritize them as the season goes. Our groups are:

GM Vote – write our language into Charter and Constitution

Member Eligibility – Do we want to charge people to join the Alliance? Is $125 too much or too little? What about S2 season ticket holders?  Partial Seasons?

Supporter Group recognition

Alliance Council Visibility – blog, social media, Pre-match table: all included here

Community Outreach – also included here is charity partnership

Scarf Vote

MatchPass – program has been entirely restructured, not sure what will be needed here

Kit (we are done with jock tag thru 2017, next chance to be involved is 2018)

Annual Meeting Questions – does this need to be a workgroup or just take volunteers at the time?

End of Year Meeting – already have a full team here

Season Ticket Holder Giveaways – scarf or?

Presentations from the FO – doesn’t need to be a workgroup, can just work with Stephanie to get onto the agenda when the agenda can accommodate the time

Constitution & Bylaws – rewrites, what language and concepts should change – get out to Alliance for a vote in ’16

Budget – build awareness of the Alliance Council, members stop spending own money

Seating Expectations – will discuss all issues related to seating in stadium.

Women’s Attire – Sounders attire still not right for women fans

Our last conversation of the meeting was about Season Ticket Members’ request for greater transparency, specifically the request that we publish our votes by member. The greatest complaint was about the number of people who have abstained. In the end, we have decided not to publish the votes.  The reasons surrounding that are that we are not a governing body, we don’t get to decide what the Sounders do.  We can merely make recommendations.  And our members have been harassed – sometimes even from other council members.  We had a lengthy conversation regarding the desire for more information and more perspectives being made available to the Alliance.  It’s too early to say if that will result in more views being expressed in the Opinions section, I hope so.

That summed up the first meeting.  We got feedback later from our call-in members that the Batphone worked fine, so that’s good.  We moved it up and down the table to keep it near the person who was talking – not always convenient, but not impossible to maintain.

And then a week later I went to bed and forgot to turn my phone off.  Like any girl from Italian lineage, when a phone keeps blowing up into the wee hours of the morning, I got up and went downstairs with heavy heart to learn the dreaded answer to the only question that could cause an iPhone to dance explosively across the countertop: Who died?  Luckily, I learned no one had.

What happened instead is that last December, some ditzy broad (who looks exactly like me) thought it would be an awesome idea to introduce season ticket members to the Alliance that they’re a part of. What a novel idea – an introduction!  That introduction went out in the season ticket member packages that also introduced the words mobile only.  I turned my phone off.  I went back to bed.  I did not sleep.  In fact, I didn’t for several nights.  Most of the mail that came in was absolute vitriol – not helpful in any way, shape, or form.  I answered those emails anyway, at least with “I’m sorry this is frustrating,” and an explanation of when the Alliance Council was informed of the decision.  After a few days, we (the Alliance Council) learned that we had an inaccurate talking point at the Front Office that declared the Alliance Council had vetted or enthusiastically endorsed mobile only or something like that.  There were several emails along those lines – I got that corrected.  We didn’t endorse the decision.  Several council members tested the app, that’s it.  Mobile only remains another story.  A couple of the emails that came in outlined the impact of the decision to go mobile only and the authors requested that their emails be elevated to the proper personnel for replies.  I was copied on those, and I’ve shared them below because I think they’re helpful to everyone.

I can’t help but be reminded of how far we’ve come in three years.  Yes – only three years ago, my group still had to deal with tearing paper tickets out of a giant book.  The rest of the stadium had been moved to these cool new plastic cards.  I made this huge color coded grid for the whole season (still do), rounded up as many people as possible, and we headed to brunch at Senor Moose in Ballard where we’d dive into awesome sopes de tinga with horchata lattes, and start separating our tickets and parking passes by person.  Some people drove in from Spokane for it.  Ticket trades had to be completed a week in advance so that the paper tickets could be dropped into snail mail.  Remember snail mail?  I forget about it too.  Sounders hadn’t even created tickets by pdf for us yet.

Here are the questions and answers I promised you (answers are from the Front Office Staff):

Hi Rob,

I appreciate you reaching out to both Alliance Council and myself. I apologize for the delayed response as I wanted to ensure I was provided you all of the answers that you requested. First of all, I want to thank you for taking the time to provide us feedback regarding our mobile app. I believe that some of the new features of the app provide you with a viable ticket solution and can ensure you we have taken precautions to make sure your concerns are addressed.

 Rationale for change? Business decision, cost, convenience

There were multiple reasons why we decided to make a switch to a mobile platform, cost was definitely not one of those. Integrating mobile tickets into the native app experience provides more flexibility for fans. The app will improve the ability to manage seats in the way that works best for each fan. Whether you’re sharing a seat with one person the entire season, splitting between multiple people or deciding last-minute on what to do with your tickets, the app will provide an improved solution to help with those needs. In addition, MatchPass rewards will also be available in-app, so fans can redeem rewards and manage tickets within the same location, anytime, anywhere.  In addition, we are excited the app will continue to support news, videos and additional content and can serve as the first-choice for fans when looking for the latest from Sounders FC.   

 Are you looking to enable an Opt-In for physical tickets or enable “print at home” with “matchpass and season tickets” privileges?

Similar in the past, you will be issued a MatchPass, instead of a physical MatchPass, you will receive a digital MatchPass that you can manage through the Sounders FC app. You will still have the full functionality of My Account Manager, now even easier to access through the Sounders FC App. My Account Manager gives you the opportunity to print, forward, resell or donate your tickets. Therefore, if you prefer not to use mobile for entry, you still have the ability to print.

 Will you enable contest entry for each ticket purchase?

No, for the history of the MatchPass program, all enter to win contests have been one entry per account. This allows for all season ticket members to have the chance to enter for prizes. If you do not want to take the chance of the enter to win, there is also a buy now option to secure a spot where all of the money raised will be donated directly to charity. I strongly recommend you check out the new MatchPass informational video on the matchpass.soundersfc.com website for more information and to check out the cool rewards already posted.

 The MatchPass loyalty program has completely changed this year. There is no need to swipe at concessions or the pro shop or work to earn points, so you do not need to provide your kids your phone at concessions. With this new program, we want to simply reward you for being a season ticket member, not to have you to worry about earning enough points to redeem. We hope your phone doesn’t die getting to the match, but just in case if it does, we will have Sounders FC staff available with phone chargers to get you some battery to get into the match. If you do not want to charge your phone, you could also visit the customer service window located on the NW corner of CenturyLink Field for assistance with your tickets.

We had some issues with the Android launch, which is most likely why your wife was unable to log-in. However, we released an update Wednesday evening, which should fix those issues. Therefore, if you would like both you and your wife to have the ability to scan into the gate, you can designate her a couple of passes to download onto her device, so you do not have to swipe through all 5 passes at the gate. Below are some tutorial videos, just in case if you need them, to explain how to share a season pass with your wife or simply download the passes to your phone. In addition, you can add those passes to either Android Pay or Apple Wallet, so you do not have to worry about downloading them on matchday or using Wi-Fi or data.

Share the Season: http://www.soundersfc.com/mobilize/manage-season

Download to phone: http://www.soundersfc.com/mobilize/get-all-passes

If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to reach out me directly. I would be happy to walk through this with you, so we make sure you have a great matchday experience. If you would like to read any more information, I would recommend checking out the STM Benefits Website or the Mobilize Website for more information. Thanks again for your support and look forward to your response.

Later follow up:

Thank you for your email! One thing I do just want to note is if you save your season pass to your “wallet” on the phone, you can actually delete the app afterwards. As long you as you have the default setting, the pass will update itself to the next home match on its own. Also, the wallet doesn’t use Wi-Fi or Data, which should help the battery issue. 

We do still have our Sounders FC Pub Partnerships, and expect to expand them for the 2016 season! We are working on creating a form of Season Ticket Member ID for those who do not have access to smartphones.

Again, I really do appreciate this in depth feedback. If anything else comes up or still does not work (Android should have gotten an update after you sent this email).

At the March first meeting, we will have Taylor Graham and Bart Wiley coming in to discuss some of the hot button topics (Mobile only, variable single match pricing, etc.).  We can’t reverse their decisions, but we do want to know how they’ll take care of people – I’m confident there must be an answer, so what is it?