The Sounders are making some changes to their season-ticket package for next season, including the addition of one extra (19th) game, a price increase and a transaction fee increase.
Here's how general manager Adrian Hanauer explained the changes:
We tweaked our package a little bit … a 19-package instead of 18. So same as this year: the regular-season and a friendly, and (the 19th game) will represent – fingers crossed – group stage of Champions League next summer – so both tickets, the 19th game would basically be a two-for-one. That’s Option A that we hope for. Option B is that it would represent the first playoff game next season, if we are to make the playoffs. And Option C, would be that it would be used as a deposit for following season’s season ticket.
In addition we’ve raised prices, I’ve been told to say it’s a dollar to $4 per game per ticket, depending on where you sit. But for me – I’m a percentage guy – I think it’s a blended sort of 4 percent price increase (per game) – so it’s like a 9 percent total increase (for the package including the extra game). We worked with the Alliance Council closely, tried to make sure that we weren’t doing anything egregious. Our objective is to keep ticket pricing as low and affordable as possible, while giving our club the best chance to win championships as possible.
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More from Hanauer:
On including CCL: Champions League is something that is really important to our club. We’ve talked about wanting to be a global brand. In order to be a global brand we have to win our region. First we have to qualify, but then we have to win our region. We’ve made it to the semis. We want to get to the pinnacle: win that and qualify for the world championships. We’ve got work ahead of us, but the best chance of us to win that is to have our fans engaged, behind us, enthusiastic, supporting us, making sure our home-field advantage is a true home-field advantage. So that was part of the thinking on the 19th game and Champions League.
On playoff ticket if not CCL: Obviously secondarily if we don’t qualify for Champions League we want our fans for the playoffs. Playoffs has traditionally been a really difficult logistical issue because sometimes we have four days notice and we have to try to start from Ticket 1 to get to 35,000. And the information we’ve gotten back from our passionate fanbase is having the playoff ticket in the package would be a positive. I know we didn’t do 20 (games in the package), we couldn’t get it perfect, so 19 was optimally Champions League, secondarily playoffs and third – I guess shame on us if we don’t make Champions League or the playoffs – and it becomes a deposit on the following season.