The Sounders announced today that some Seahawks football markings will be on the pitch Friday night when the Sounders open the MLS playoffs against Real Salt Lake.
The Seahawks play the Minnesota Vikings at CenturyLink Field on Sunday, and the conversion times -- especially in rainy weather -- demanded that Sounders play tomorrow with some gridiron markings or delay their playoff opener until Monday to play without them.
Those markings, by the way, will include the Seahawks midfield logo, some end zone design, and perhaps the wide outside football lines, but not hashmarks or numbers.
"Look, we have a fantastic relationship with the NFL team," general manager Adrian Hanauer said. "Obviously join ownership of the MLS team. We thought competitively that Friday was much better for us than Monday. Friday meant there was a compromise on football markings. I know that the field crew is doing everything they can to have as few football markings as possible. We’re also working on some pretty cool technology that we think might make the process even faster and sort of lead to no conflicts ever. But that’s a work in progress. Anyway, we came to this compromise together, and we’re certainly satisfied with the process."
Sounders coach Sigi Schmid reacted similarly.
"I think our organization has been tremendous about making sure that we always played our games on a soccer field and that it was pretty pristine," he said. "But we are an organization that works together – the Seahawks and ourselves – and they’ve done things to help us, and we’ve done things to help them. For us right now, from a physiological side for the team, it made more sense to play the game on Friday. We realize that we have to deal with some markings. The end zone markings and the midfield markings, we’re fine with. If the border could be avoided along the sidelines, that would be great for us. But we understand that we’re a cooperative organization, and there’s been so much cooperation between the two organizations that this is a small thing for us to do, and it was the right thing to do in terms of choosing the date of the game for the team."
I'll have more from both interviews soon.