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The Seattle Sounders Game Refund.


A few months ago, the Seattle Sounders promised a refund to their season ticket holders in apology for a truly awful game. I got to thinking whether a refund (credit for a game next season) was the best way to apologize to the fans.

This kind of refund could set a dangerous precedent - that fans shouldn't have to pay for a game when their team lost. People often prefer goods to cash prizes. On the other hand, if we'd all gotten free hats valued at the cost of a game, we'd each have a tangible reminder of that bad game.

But I've had a little epiphany. The refund isn't about sending a message to the fans; it's about sending a message to the players.

Opportunity Cost.


The husband was clever enough to buy Seattle Sounders season tickets, and I've very much enjoyed attending the games this season and last. The Sounders are so gosh darn popular that many of the games sell out. Season ticket holders are easily able to sell their seats on the open market for higher than face value.

In the early part of the season, our neighbors (also season ticket holders) to the right were a man, a woman, and a girl about 5 or 6 years old. Midway through the season, the woman started showing a pregnancy, and then then the whole family ceased coming to games.

I wonder if the skyrocketing ticket prices make it so that the family chose to sell their tickets at a profit rather than come to the game themselves. Re-selling the tickets to just 4 or 5 games would probably pay for the whole season.



There is something very special about attending a live sports event with a huge emotional crowd. I've felt it with the Portland Winterhawks, and more recently with the Seattle Sounders FC. The strong human emotions of happiness and anger have a sort of feedback cycle intensifying the crowd's reaction to every call and play. Experiencing the elation of nearly 30,000 people cheering a goal is addicting, and well worth 90 minutes of standing up.

Last Thursday's first playoff match against the Houston Dynamo was an incredibly exciting 0-0 tie. It was amazing how my emotions got away from me - at one point I was furious with Houston's goalie, even though I had no idea why. Next Sunday's match, again versus Houston, will be very exciting. The Sounders have done better than any other rookie team in the MLS this year, but I believe that we have some more wins in us.

A Transition.


A Sounders FC Supporter The husband bought season Sounders tickets and I love it. I love the games and the team, and I'm not going to apologize. I'm hooked on the joy of cheering for my team along with a crowd of twenty thousand. Winning a well played game is a powerful and addictive happiness.

As a native Portlander, I've had a stormy past with pro sports teams. I fell into the Rip City crowd of the early ninties, but the near wins and the subsequent team attitudes were far too depressing. The Winterhawks were the best thing happening, but I just can't drag myself out to Renton to see a game in unfriendly territory.

It's been more than 2 years since we've moved to Seattle from Portland. We've got a house and two cats. I'm ready to admit that Seattle is my home - for now. Supporting a sports franchise is part of the transition. I can't be Sounders 'till I die, but I can be Sounders while I'm in Seattle.