2013 Sounders FC Annual Business Meeting remaining questions

The Sounders front office has worked through the remaining questions from the Business Meeting and provided its answers below in italics.

What is your definition of success (for the club)? Is it turning a profit? Is it simply making the playoffs? Is it silverware? Our owners are as committed to winning championships. That is the number one priority behind every decision made by the organization.

What will the team look like for next year? Some changes have already been made, and expect to see some more in the future. But all these decisions are made with the collective goal of winning MLS Cup.

Will Mauro Rosales and Michael Gspurning be back next year? Mauro Rosales has been traded to Chivas USA, and the team declined the option on Michael Gspurning.

Why are we bringing in international "stars," then they leave after a part of season or two? The goal of every player acquisition is to improve the team and build towards winning an MLS Cup.

How can we strengthen our back line? Sounders FC is excited about adding Chad Marshall and Stefan Frei to the roster.

Is this club content with just making the playoffs every year despite the fact about half of the teams in the league qualify for the playoffs? Making the playoffs is certainly a goal at the start of every season. But the end goal is to bring an MLS Cup to Seattle.

I have read that Clint Dempsey may be loaned to an English club for a few months. If this is true, how will this impact his performances next season? Also, what about players absent for the world cup in Brazil. Dempsey, Johnson, and Evans could all be missing for several weeks? It is an honor to play in the World Cup, and Sounders FC will support any player on its roster who has the opportunity to play for their country next summer in Brazil. But the depth of every team will come into play during next summer. If certain players miss time with their respective national teams, the responsibility to maintain a high level of play will lie on the remainder of the roster.

Getting youth and fringe players playing time has been an issue this season. Are there plans to have a USL PRO team as a feeder club to loan players too or any other ideas in the works to keep these players match fit? The reserve system has been a great way to provide games to those who are not playing regular minutes in MLS matches. But the evolution of the league is pointing towards adding USL PRO clubs to MLS organizations, or aligning with existing USL clubs. Sounders FC are looking at both options to determine what best fits the development of our players.

Are there any future plans for Seattle to host the MLS All-Star game? We will continue to work with the league to see if we can bring the All-Star game to Seattle.

Why are inaugural ticket holders the only ones to receive a discount off season ticket packages? All season ticket members receive a significant savings from the gate price of each ticket in addition to other member benefits like Pro Shop savings, Alliance Member scarves, and voting privileges towards Alliance initiatives, etc.

Can we move Season Ticket sales to after the playoffs? We attempt to go out with renewals at an appropriate time each year – a time where not too many other asks or offers are going out. At the same time we have to balance the time it takes to renew 32,000 season ticket members, their requests to move, upgrade, drop or change seats with the preparation needed to get tickets ready for the following season. We’re happy to take suggestions on the timing or renewals but fans should be aware of the time it takes to complete the process.

What is the technical staff doing to combat the inefficiencies of the Sounders FC account manager page, the ticket exchange page, and Ticket Master integration? Sounders FC and other Ticketmaster clubs in the MLS are working hard in the offseason collectively with Ticketmaster in an effort to simplify, and enhance the user experience of account manager.

Why do you continue to make us all mad that we can't get our regular seats for the playoffs? The Green Zone was not open for part of the playoffs due to turnaround from round to round. We wanted to create the best environment possible for the team.

Can GA be officially named the Supporters Section? And signage put up that "Views are likely to be blocked in the Supporters Section"? It would solve so many disputes from casual fans slipping into GA and yelling at anyone with a flag or two poles. We are working directly with the supporter groups to appropriately message activities within sections, i.e., flags, chanting, standing, etc. We will have improved signage for 2014, and will work diligently to message to any single game buyers what their expectations should be when sitting in these sections.

Is it possible to remove the seats in the supporters section until the Seahawks season starts? Unfortunately this is not an option.

Is there a way to accommodate season ticket holders who share seats with the fantastic match passes? In short, could the account hold a number of "authorized users" on each account allowing easier use of the match pass benefits and season ticket management functions in your website. The seat designation process was intended for this exact purpose. We know that each account shares their seats with multiple individuals, and we would like to provide the same opportunities to everyone on an account, rather than just the account holder. Please contact your service rep to designate your seats immediately.

Why are the Portland traveling fans allowed to bring in that enormous drum(s) that drowns out our songs/chants? I know their chainsaw was banned, but is there anything we can do about that drum? Portland provides the same opportunity to bring flags, drums, and supporter items when our supporters travel south. Drums are a part of the supporter culture that we allow in CenturyLink Field.

Why do game clocks stop at 45:00 and 90:00 in each half? Why can't they keep counting into added time? The rule as written is quite ambiguous but the league will not allow us to display stoppage time in the stadium. As stated by our PA announcer, stoppage time is at the discretion of the head referee and there is always a ‘minimum’ of stoppage time announced.

Can we please get rid of the flame throwers? The flame pots were an addition to the game presentation in 2013 that has been well received by the majority of fans.

What are you doing to insure that we don't have NFL lines on the pitch during any of our games again? The organization will do everything possible to avoid playing on NFL lines. But CenturyLink is a dual purpose stadium, and occasionally the MLS and NFL schedules conflict where it is impossible to avoid playing with football lines.

There was a serious negligence of safety the day the new security measures were rolled out. What’s the excuse for putting your fans into such a dangerous situation? These new measures are completely useless and unacceptable, what are you as an ownership group doing to end this unnecessary harassment of fans entering the stadium? Providing a safe environment at Sounders matches is the number one priority of our organization. We acted swiftly to ensure the process was more efficient following the initial roll-out.

After the game, the players start thanking the fans in section 109 (midfield), and then go counter clockwise around the field and end up in the Brougham End, but nobody ever comes and thanks our corner of the stadium. We will relay this suggestion to the team.

I enjoy the idea of MatchPass but, why do the points not rollover to 2014? The prizes were very limited. MatchPass points expire at the end of each season in order to ensure that we are able to keep reward prices at a similar level year to year.

Can we inquire how to update the End Zone Boards, currently focused on football, to move them to LED to show soccer stats, like passing and possession. The current LED boards don't display it at all times and is frustrating. We are looking to make an upgrade on this feature.

Can the MatchPass program be opened up to those of us who don't have season tickets. It would be great to collect points for end of year prizes and goodies. This is a great suggestion that we are looking into for 2014. Our primary goals it provide enough point earning and reward opportunities for our Season Ticket Members, but if possible, we hope to expand these benefits to partial plans as well.

Why is Sound Wave not used more? Sound Wave was the idea of Drew Carey. They play at march to the match, pre-match in the north plaza, during matches, and at community events. We work to balance the energy they bring with keeping the in-match experience as authentic as possible.

When we listen to the post game show, the questions from the press can't be heard. We just hear the answers, and sometimes they don't make sense without the question. Could you either put a microphone on the person asking the question or have the question repeated before it's answered? We are working on a solution for 2014.

What is supposed to happen once you've acquired the required amount of votes to be on the Alliance Council. I received the amount needed (25) but have not received an info or invitation to any meetings etc. Should I be reaching out to someone? If so - who? Anyone who receives the necessary 25 votes will be added to council for the ensuing term. If you have any questions regarding this process, please email questions@sfcalliance.com.

How is the council meeting its commitments with democracy in sports if I as a season ticket holder rarely get communication on meetings and activities? We encourage anyone interested in joining council to learn more about the process at http://www.soundersfc.com/alliance/council/about.aspx. To join council, you must be nominated by other Alliance members. Council members need 25 nominations from other Alliance members in order to sit on Council.

I really enjoyed the Desert Diamond Cup this year. Will the team be participating in this tournament next year? Sounders FC will not be participating in the 2014 Desert Diamond Cup, but the team will participate in preseason friendlies in Tucson in early February and the Carolina Cup in Charleston.

Is there any way to change the @LIVESounders Twitter feed back to the way it used to be? Shane Evans seems like a nice guy but it would be helpful to receive the normal live match tweets in a more journalistic style rather than just a bunch of weird comments and in-jokes. It would be nice to get back the frequent live tweeting of the game without all the weird stuff. We work to balance the personality of the organization while delivering the necessary content.

Is there any plan or way to make additional 4x, 4xl, 4xlt, 5x, 5xl, and 5XLT clothing available in store, online or perhaps by special order. We have shared this request with retail department.

Do we need a third kit, since we will not be in CONCACAF next year? We will have a new third kit for 2014. We typically wear it for US Open Cup and occasionally for Cascadia matches and international exhibitions.

What is the business staff doing to bridge the gap on communication to and between supporter groups? The Sounders FC front office and supporter groups meet regularly to discuss the status and growth of our groups.

Some fans do not have NBCSN on their cable packages. Can those games be televised on KONG16 for live broadcast? NBCSN is one of the MLS’s national TV partners. The Sounders recently announced a new partnership with KCPQ for 2014.

We herd mention of stadium expansion. How likely is this possibility? When might construction begin? The organization is constantly looking for ways to improve the atmosphere at CenturyLink Field but have not finalized plans for any expansion at this time.

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