Sounders season-ticket renewal notices have gone out, and price increases have inflamed some original season-ticket holders who were surprised to see a 3 percent increase in ticket prices plus a surcharge for one international friendly.
General manager Adrian Hanauer addressed the controversy today:
"I certainly saw some message board activity and went back and tried to do some research and do some digging. I think to me there were three issues:
"One, we all along intended to raise our tickets prices three percent in this third year for original season-ticket holders. I do think there was some confusion about that, and it may be partly on our side. I’m sure we’re partly to blame. I have seen articles online and message board information about us not raising ticket prices three percent, but I haven’t seen anything from our club that actually said that.
"The second issue is the friendly. This year we decided to do the 17-game regular-season package and one friendly. We had talked to our customers. We thought we had heard them loud and clear that they didn’t want multiple friendlies: They wanted one, and they wanted one big one. So we have set about to bring a blowout friendly to Qwest – one of the top teams in the world. Those Chelsea-type teams, Real Madrid, Manchester United, teams like that. It’s really expensive to bring those teams in, and so the premium on that friendly got adjusted.
"And I think for me the most problematic was the overarching confusion on invoices that got to people, where it wasn’t very clear as to how the ticketing was broken out, including the credit on the Galaxy ticket. All those things together I think have led to some angst and consternation."
On the friendly, again, we intend to make that an absolute blow-out event with one of the big teams in the world. But if there are some of our fans that don’t want to come to that game, if they call our customer-service reps, I’m sure there’s a way to sort that out and make them happy, because as always, our fans are the most important thing to us, and if they’re unhappy we want to hear them out.