Alliance Council

Seattle Sounders and Alliance Council host 2017 Annual Business Meeting in The NINETY

2017 Annual Business Meeting recap

The Seattle Sounders and Alliance Council hosted the Annual Business Meeting at The NINETY Wednesday evening. The event covered a variety of business topics, including the switch to SeatGeek as the club's primary ticket distributor, the Sounders matchday experience, S2's move to Tacoma and a report on the team. 

The participants included Alliance Council leadership Stephanie Steiner, Martin Buckley and Alex Eagleton, Sounders FC owners Adrian Hanauer and Joe Roth, club COO Bart Wiley and General Manager & President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey. Accompanying Alliance Council and Sounders leadership included Zach Hensley, VP of Operations at CenturyLink Field and Russell D' Souza, founder of SeatGeek.

The Alliance Council was founded by owner Drew Carey as a mechanism to bring fan involvement to the club. All Season Ticket Members with multiple match packages purchased through Sounders FC are automatically members of the Alliance. The Alliance is tasked with the General Manager Vote, which takes place every four years with the next vote taking place in 2018.

"Thank you all for supporting us through thick and thin," said owner Joe Roth. "The team is about the city and the thing that I'm most proud of is that when we all started we envisioned something like this which is that it's the city's team, we don't exist without you guys and these guys run a very good business up here and I'm just very proud to be part of this." 

Alliance Council Vice President Martin Buckley began the meeting by addressing the move from an in-person event to a live stream for the first time. 

"Last year, and the year before, the Alliance was talking to many, many Alliance members. We heard from people from the eastern side of the state, from the Kitsap Peninsula, even people outside of the state said, 'I wish I could be there with you.' We also heard from people who were here inside Seattle who just can't make a Tuesday or Wednesday night with the traffic, the weather, babysitting, childcare, work commitments, they just can't get down here...

"We wanted to recognize that this is a diverse group of fans and not everybody can make it to an in-person event so hopefully we reach lots more people that are typically not able to make these events."

Club Chief Operating Officer Bart Wiley added: "We are going to always try to do different things. This is our ninth one of these and we're going to try different formats as we have tonight. We'll listen to feedback. We'll listen to feedback you give to Council. We'd love feedback that you provide the front office. We appreciate all that Council has done to work with us to make this event possible this evening and if ultimately the feedback is, "Go back to the stadium, go back to the Paramount, we'll listen to you. We want to do what the majority of our folks want us to do." 

The final half hour of the meeting included an update on the state of the team from General Manager & President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey. Lagerwey touched on a number of subjects ranging from the increasing influence from the Sounders Academy system, the rise of Nouhou to the First Team, S2's 2018 move to Tacoma, and the experience added by summer signings Kelvin Leerdam and Víctor Rodríguez.

Seattle Sounders and Alliance Council host 2017 Annual Business Meeting in The NINETY -

"You can't sign a player like Nouhou to the first team and just wait," Lagerwey said about the 20-year-old Nouhou. "You'll get nothing. Eighteen months later, he was ready and he's produced."

On the summer signings, Lagerwey added: "Kelvin Leerdam had a chance to re-sign with a club to play UEFA Champions League for a similar amount of amount of money, and he chose to come to the Sounders. This summer we could have signed a DP, but we chose not to. Instead of signing a DP, we signed Víctor Rodríguez. I'd argue there's not much difference."

Lagerwey also shed light on the upcoming matchup with the Houston Dynamo in the Western Conference Championship.

"This is a group in Houston that is going to be very, very hungry," Lagerwey said. "They're actually pretty common residents in conference finals. I think this is their fourth conference final in the last seven or eight years. When you're playing a good side like that you have to be focused, you have to be prepared, you have to mind all the details. It's an exciting challenge for us. We have to be prepared for their speed particularly on the counter." 

After advancing past Vancouver in the Conference Semifinals, Seattle is amidst preparations for its Western Conference Championship matchup with the Houston Dynamo, with the first leg in Houston set for Tuesday, November 21 (7:00 p.m. PT / FS1) and the second leg in Seattle on Thursday, November 30 (7:30 p.m. PT / ESPN). Single-match tickets for the second leg are available via and the CenturyLink Field box office.



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