Looking Back at the Sounders

soundersPacked stadiums, Designated Players, great local television coverage and now Clint Dempsey. Despite the absence of an MLS Cup, Seattle has been perhaps the biggest success story in MLS history.  With that in mind, here is post we wrote back in 2009 right before Seattle was set for its first kick of the ball in 2009.

First Kick 2009 is just days away, and the League’s newest franchise is directly in the cross hairs of MLS fans.  They have sold the tickets; more than 20k season ticket sales have been announced for 2009.  They have landed the big name sponsor; Microsoft has signed on for $ 4 million for over five years.  They have marketed aggressively; billboards, scarves and advertising have been plastered all over the City.

They have signed an impressive local broadcast deal, allowing a revered local voice to bring Sounders soccer over the air. They will also have a presence on cable.    According to to David Falk, the man in charge of the comprehensive Seattle Soccer website www.GoalSeattle.com, Fox Sports Northwest will sponsor a weekly Sounders show and run game replays.  They have spent on players, including a DP, and have created an outstanding website.

If MLS Executives were to imagine the perfect off the field scenario for an expansion team, Seattle, circa March 16, 2009 would be the dream.

Now it has to continue going forward.  Fans have to keep buying tickets, the media needs to keep agressively covering the Sounders  and Seattle needs to make it happen on the field.

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One Response

  1. I knew the first game would be big, as the expansion excitement plus the very recent Sonics departure meant Seattle sports fans were chomping at the bit. What blew my mind was how packed the second game, against RSL, would be.

    I thought the crowd would be about 20K, like the MLS average then. But when I walked in during warmups and saw the lower bowl filling up again, I thought, “You mean, it’s going to be like this *every* game? Whoa!”

    At that time, according to news reports, Schmid and Kreis were chatting. Schmid asked Kreis, “So, what do you think about the atmosphere?” Kreis’ answer: “This is great!”

    The crowds androfits will still be there unless the team misses the playoffs for years on end. What they need now is much better playoff results. Easier said than done.

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