A first hand account of the Sounders Business Meeting
Posted by: Matt Gaschk
McKenzie Clark was right in the thick of things at the 2011 Sounders FC Business Meeting. Here's his story of how it all went down.
The Sounders FC End of Year Business Meeting is a valuable experience for fans of the Sounders who want to know what is going on behind the scenes at their favorite MLS club.
McKenzie Clark ought to know – last year he acted as one of the presenters for the evening, giving a report on the Alliance Council, its officers and the newly formed Constitution and Charter.
For one of the capos in the Emerald City Supporters who lead the supporter group – and, in turn, most of those in the stadium – in songs and chants throughout the match, it was a welcome change from his normal interactions with fans.
“It was exciting to be in front of people in a context other than a matchday,” he laughed.
At the 2011 Business Meeting, Clark sat shoulder-to-shoulder with the likes of Joe Roth, Adrian Hanauer and Gary Wright, making his presentation and also answering questions from the crowd at WaMu Theater at CenturyLink Field.
Since then, the Council has continued its steady growth, acting as a conduit between the Alliance and the ownership and front office of the club.
While the issues discussed by the two sides have continued to be prevalent, they have decreased in their urgency as the two sides have grown closer together.
“We’ve kind of let the dust settle on some of the major issues. Rather than hauling in the entire infrastructure for a club that we all wish to be supporting for decades to come, we’re deciding what color paint to put on the walls. It’s nice to have these decisions that still mean quite a bit to people, but in the end, we will all still be living and breathing after these decisions are made,” Clark said. “We’re still in the process of making the alliance a formidable body of people and it’s fun to be involved in that in the early stages.”
At this year’s meeting, the club will announce the results of two votes – the vote whether or not to retain Hanauer as general manager and the one to determine the scarf that will be included in Season Ticket packages.
Additionally, those in attendance will get first-hand impressions from Hanauer and Roth on how the season went, which Clark views as a challenging task in the first season that the Sounders have finished without a trophy after winning the US Open Cup in each of their first three years, as well as the Cascadia Cup in 2011.
“It was a tough year in terms of losses and not walking away with some silverware,” he said. “It will be interesting to see how ownership is going to motivate people to take some humility away from this and still come back in the spring gung ho and ready for a new season.”
While he was an active participant in last year’s meeting, Clark has different plans for this year’s event.
“Sit in the audience and eat all the brownies,” he laughed again.
The Business Meeting starts at 7 pm.