On the Chelsea friendly: One of the great teams in the world, which is something we’re really focused on. We have a great relationship with the organization. We think they have an exciting team. They could potentially be Champions League champions. Again, just a great opportunity for our fans and for out team to play against a top club like Chelsea.
On if they considered if it was too soon to repeat a club that had visited in 2009: Yeah, I guess so. You also could say it’s a great opportunity to get a second chance at a team like Chelsea. They beat us 2-0. We’d like to have a better showing against them. But sure, I can certainly see that someone could come to that conclusion. But as I’ve said numerous occasions: These games are complicated, and we wanted to make sure that we brought one of the great teams, and we had the opportunity to snag Chelsea and jumped at it.
On if he has a feel for fan reaction to the announcement: I don’t. I think we’ve just gone on sale with that four-pack. We’re not selling individual tickets yet, so no I don’t.
On ticket allocation to Portland and Vancouver supporters: ... Because we play twice in Portland and Vancouver, they play once in Seattle, that we’ll give them 1,500 tickets in Seattle; we’ll get 750 per game in Portland and Vancouver. Maybe 800 – somewhere in that range when we go on the road. Same number of (total) tickets, that’s sort of the idea.
On packaging what might be the four most attractive games on the schedule: Chelsea, Galaxy, Whitecaps, Timbers: We wanted to put together an extremely attractive package. … The idea is to do the same thing this year and to get 50,000-plus for all of those games and expose some new fans to the team and give some people who maybe can’t afford a season ticket another product to buy. That atmosphere in the stadium with 55-, 60-thousand fans is unbelievable and gives us just that little bit of an additional edge hopefully as far as a home-field advantage goes.
On if the team will manage the Chelsea game differently than the ManU game of last season, which ended in a 7-0 defeat: We still think it’s an opportunity for players to get some experience against these teams. We still have to manage minutes because we’re still going to have league games in the same timeframe. … But at the same time, we want to win the game, and we probably will manage it slightly differently. Obviously Sigi will have the final call on what different management means. But we certainly don’t want a repeat result.
Hanauer also said no decision has yet been made on whether the Chelsea game will be played on FieldTurf or temporary natural grass. Much will depend on the opinion of the Chelsea manager at that time. A club spokesman said the section(s) of CenturyLink made available to visiting Cascadia fans could be different from last season, but apparently is undetermined as of now. Hanauer said the prices the Timbers and Whitecaps charge visiting Seattle supporters are up to those clubs, but he hopes and assumes there will be no price gouging of Sounders fans.