Sounders Insider

Starfire site not yet approved by CONCACAF

CONCACAF has not yet approved the Sounders idea of playing their Champions League opener at Starfire Sports Stadium.

One alert reader noticed that Starfire seems to conflict with a couple CONCACAF Champions League regulations regarding host stadiums.

One of those is that "the home venue selected by the participating team should be the stadium usually used by the team for its home games." The other says "As a general rule, matches may only be played in all-seated stadia. ... (And) if only stadia with both seating and standing areas are available, the standing space shall remain vacant."

Obviously the Sounders "usually" play at Qwest Field, not Starfire. And when they do play at Starfire, they tend to make up for the small seating capacity by allowing fans to stand behind the fence around the pitch.

I ran those potential conflicts past the Sounders this week, and they admit that Starfire isn't yet a certainty. The club says it hasn't gotten an immediate "No" from CONCACAF. However -- because this is the first time the Sounders are in this competition -- club officials will go down to Miami for a getting-to-know-you session. It's possible the Starfire idea will be detailed, and perhaps accepted or rejected, then.

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