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Seattle Sounders FC to Refund Season Ticket Holders For Performance Against Galaxy

March 25, 2010.Sounders FC Owner and General Manager Adrian Hanauer applauds as Cliff McCrath is given the Golden Scarf before an opening day crowd of over 36,200 against the Union at Qwest Field in Seattle, WA..Seattle defeats Philadelphia 2 - 0.George Holland / Cal Sport Media. Content © 2010 ZumaPress All rights reserved.

Adrian Hanauer has essentially offered Seattle Sounders FC season ticket holders their money back.

In the wake of the worst loss in franchise history – a 4-0 thrashing at the hands of league-leading Los Angeles Galaxy – the Sounders general manager has quickly and publically made it clear that the performance is not indicative of the product the organization seeks to give Seattle.

“[The performance by Seattle against Los Angeles] last night wasn’t good enough,” Hanauer said, in a statement released on Sunday. “The effort wasn’t good enough. The execution wasn’t good enough. The heart wasn’t good enough. The passion wasn’t good enough. The only thing that was good enough was our fans. So we decided that we’re going to give our fans their money back for that game.”

“It’ll come in the form of credit against next year’s season tickets because we want people in for the long haul. It just wasn’t good enough. It’s not a precedent. We don’t plan on giving people money back every time we have a bad game. But as the owners of the club, we reserve the right to do whatever we think we need to do to treat our fans the way they’ve treated us.”

Hanauer, in the statement, also called the performance “embarrassing” and “humiliating.”

Seattle has some of the best fans in professional sport, and the respect the organization has given them is a big reason why. There may be no greater sign of respect than an organization figurehead showing that the club’s leadership, at the time when the franchise is at a low, has the fanbase at the forefront of his thinking.

That said, there is a bit of irony in the reaction: Seattle was not as bad as the score indicates. The Sounders were below their own lofty standards and surely are nowhere near the level of the Galaxy (who are in their own world, at the moment), but the 0-4 result was a big generous to Los Angeles. Seattle were closer to equals than vanquished in the first half, and the second half goals which put the Galaxy out of reach came on set pieces – the Omar Gonzalez goal being near-perfect in its execution.

Los Angeles did not run all over Seattle.  This match had the feeling of a 2-0 rather than a 4-0.

Even if that is the case, Hanauer’s statement to the fans tells the team that there’ll be no excuses. The Sounders are not producing the desired product, according to the club’s decision makers.

But what do you think? I suppose we can all agree that this is a great gesture on the part of SSFC, but is it too much? Did Seattle’s weekend performance justify this step by management?

[polldaddy poll=3178007]

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27 Comments

27 Comments

  1. Dan

    May 11, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    It’s just funny that the way he is acting is like Seattle, the bottom table team now, actually considers they had a chance against the Galaxy, who are light year ahead of the entire league right now.

  2. Patrick

    May 10, 2010 at 9:04 pm

    I think it’s funny. I really don’t like the sounders. I’m a united fan, which is hard enough this year…. Some how it just seems arrogant to offer money back. I can’t put my finger on why.

    • Cavan

      May 10, 2010 at 9:54 pm

      Because it just seems infantile.

      The most decorated teams in the league, United and the Galaxy, have had really tough years in their history but never felt the need to refund for the game. The Sounders, while a model franchise at the turnstiles, just don’t have the history and perspective to apologize like that for ONE bad game. Come back when you’ve had consecutive bad years like United 2000-2002 or the Galaxy 2006-2008.

      This is also coming from a United fan who has attended at least 10 games a year since 2002.

      • Charles

        May 11, 2010 at 9:37 am

        Great points….but you don’t know what DC would have done then if they were rolling in the money like the Sounders are now.

        Offering a “refund” is infantile or appreciation for the fans or whatever…..but what it really amounts to is a 5% discount for renewing your season tickets.

        • Cavan

          May 11, 2010 at 11:27 pm

          Good points also, Charles.
          Perhaps the Sounders FO also wants to prevent their fans from turning frustrated and fickle. Infantile or not, this will definitely be perceived as good customer service and that is smart business. Credit where credit is due. It’s not a move i’d make but it does make some sense.

  3. 10-11 CCL

    May 10, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    How ’bout instead of a refund, you guys move the Sounders’ most important game in their history, the CCL preliminary game, to Qwest instead of Starfire. Sounders brass is denying their fans the chance to rock the house, Champions League style.

    These Central American or Carribean teams need to see that playing in Seattle is no cakewalk, and that it will be a cauldron of pure pain for them.

    • Charles

      May 10, 2010 at 5:07 pm

      I will contribute my $20 to have the third friendly be the CCL game at QWest. We are not alone.

      • bradjmoore48

        May 10, 2010 at 5:49 pm

        Wow, I didn’t realize Seattle wouldn’t be playing their prelim CCL game outside of Qwest. That’s ridiculous! Yeah, screw the refund, the home field advantage at Qwest is the biggest thing the Sounders have going for them in CCL.

        • Gazza

          May 10, 2010 at 9:27 pm

          Calm down. The Sounders wouldn’t get 8k for a CCL match at Qwest – that’s why the FO is playing it at Starfire.

          • 10-11 CCL

            May 11, 2010 at 2:26 am

            Are you stupid? I guarantee you that the Sounders will get at least 22,000 fans for the CCL prelim. This is the Champions League, not a meaningless friendly.

          • Charles

            May 11, 2010 at 9:33 am

            I agree with you that Gazza is wrong, but don’t call him stupid, we all have been wrong before.

            First of all Gazza, if they make it the third friendly, there are 32,000 tickets sitting in cupboards like mine waiting to be used.

            Second of all, even if they don’t they would sell WAY more than 8,000 tickets. They could eliminate season ticket holders from buying tickets and sell more than 8k.

    • Dan

      May 11, 2010 at 1:05 pm

      That’s ridiculous, i didn’t even hear about this? WTF are the doing at Starfire?

      Champion’s League needs to become a bigger deal in CONCACAF, should be bigger than MLS! Only way that will happen is when teams start respecting it.

  4. JM

    May 10, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    LA is easily the best team in the league. They’ve got the best goal keeper, the best back 4, one of the top 3 midfields, the top striker, and easily have the most depth in the league.

    For all the criticism Bruce Arena has received in the past, he should be applauded for turning around what was largely perceived as a losing situation no less than 14 months ago.

  5. Matt

    May 10, 2010 at 3:21 pm

    I don’t want my money back, I want goals and wins.

  6. Manuel

    May 10, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    Galaxy just dominated them in the second half and was easily the better team. Sorry Sounder suppoters but your club has no offense what’s so ever. The Freddy connection is misssing it’s spark. After that second goal they constantly had it on Seattle’s half of the pitch and they just had no answer. LA looked like a club on a mission sending a message to the rest of the league. They are easily above and beyond the rest of the league currently. No more being timid or staying back after scoring the first goal they are a confident club right now and the rest of the league need to step up their game or they too will get embarrassed at home. Great win for LA!

  7. Joe in Indianapolis

    May 10, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    “The effort wasn’t good enough. The execution wasn’t good enough. The heart wasn’t good enough. The passion wasn’t good enough. The only thing that was good enough was our fans. So we decided that we’re going to give our fans their money back for that game.”

    –He left out the part about Seattle being whiny b*tches. Someone in that organization needs to have a talk with Ljungberg and tell him to shut up and play. BTW, I’m a Sounders fan.

    • Charles

      May 10, 2010 at 1:44 pm

      I take it you don’t think that Ljungberg and Montero going to from

      “most fouled in MLS”
      to
      “most times not getting a call because the ref thought they went down to easy”

      was a coincidence ?

      Yeah….me either.

  8. Charles

    May 10, 2010 at 11:48 am

    Sounders pay you $20 discount to renew now. I voted yes, even though I don’t expect my money back. I knew when I bought the tickets the Sounders could have a bad year. I didn’t expect LA to be that much better than them, but it is a long season.

    The amount paid to fans should be taken out of a few Sounder’s paychecks. Please show some Buddle-like desire out there.

    Sounders lost to San Jose 4-0 last year too.

  9. eplnfl

    May 10, 2010 at 9:15 am

    I have not seen the game yet so the quality of play issue is not something for me to comment on. The Sounders could not have played any worse than my Fire. Ok, the Fire where on the road.

    Do look at the terms of the offer however, you must renewal your season tickets now. Most teams offer some discount or incentive for early renewal. Why is that? Because the team has the money in the bank and can get interest on the cash. Not a bad move by the Sounders if you ask me. There are no free lunches!

    • bradjmoore48

      May 10, 2010 at 10:41 am

      “Do look at the terms of the offer however, you must renewal your season tickets now. Most teams offer some discount or incentive for early renewal. Why is that? Because the team has the money in the bank and can get interest on the cash. Not a bad move by the Sounders if you ask me. There are no free lunches!”

      Ah, I knew there had to be a catch to this somewhere. Still though, I can’t see many Seattle fans not deciding to renew. A good gesture on the Sounders Front Office, but it does set a bad precedent. Upon hearing this, my first thought was “If the Sounders are refunding their fans for 1 poor loss, how come DC United hasn’t given season ticket holders a refund for this entire season?” 🙂

  10. Frank

    May 10, 2010 at 2:22 am

    Wigan did it too but it was for a 9 0 result. You have to admit they looked whiny and lame in the final 15

  11. hendrix

    May 10, 2010 at 1:07 am

    Probably a backhanded slap at the rest of the league too… Now if my team loses 4-0, our fans are gonna say “look what the sounders did for THEIR fans” and then the local team looks bad in comparison. MLS isn’t at the point where it can be giving away games worth of revenue.

    • Charles

      May 10, 2010 at 11:52 am

      Trust me the Sounders are way past that point. I doubt it hurts the amount they send to MLS central. Seattle has to be one of the top ten teams in the world for profitability.
      What is their salary cost per year ? $3-4 million…they made 10 times that last year.

      ps. I agree with Dave ( above )….LA is awesome this year.

  12. jayoh

    May 10, 2010 at 12:45 am

    They didn’t play that bad in the first half…although Keller coughing that goal up to start things off was indeed embarrassing, the shot was right at him…the second half went from bad to worse to complete and utter giving up. This team will go nowhere until they stop trying to take the ball up the side and pass it in, with the hopes that someone will touch it in…they have NO finishers, and they take an hour to set anything up. I love the Sounders, but really, that was a joke on Saturday, and this is going to be a long season if they can’t start figuring out ways to score goals…

  13. Dave

    May 10, 2010 at 12:11 am

    I’m all for self-accountabily, but it’s rather selfish and nearsighted to not acknowledge the Galaxy for their excellent play.

  14. Cameron

    May 9, 2010 at 11:49 pm

    we got thrashed by the best team in the league, it happens, I dont feel a credit towards next years tickets was neccessary, but I appreciate the gesture.

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