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SBD/March 16, 2011/Franchises
Sounders' Fan Alliance Still Working To Have Its Voice Heard
Published March 16, 2011
RECORD CROWD TO START SEASON: In Seattle, Joshua Mayers reports the Sounders last night drew a crowd of 36,433 fans for the team’s season opener against the Galaxy. The figure “set a team record for attendance for an MLS game” (SEATTLE TIMES, 3/16). ESPN's Adrian Healey said, "There are plenty of English Premier League teams that would settle for a crowd of 36,000 on average. ... A better attendance record than actually 19 of 30 baseball teams, including the Seattle Mariners of late." It was raining during last night's game, but Healey noted it was "not dampening the fervor of this crowd one little bit" (ESPN, 3/15). MLS Commissioner Don Garber, who was at the game, said, "This fan base loves this team, and it never ceases to amaze me when I come into town and do that march to the match and come into the stadium how special it is here in Seattle -- a great way to start the season." However, Garber "wasn't quite willing to commit future season openers to Seattle." Garber: "Many other markets, I think, earned the right to deserve the opening match. But it's pretty darn good here" (SEATTLE TIMES, 3/16).
I LIKE THE SOUND OF IT: In Seattle, Nick Visser reports Microsoft sales analysts Jeff McIntyre and Erin O'Brien in '07 founded Ruffneck Scarves, aiming to "make the scarf as synonymous with soccer in America as it is in Europe." The Seattle-based company has "grown from $40,000 in annual revenue to more than $2 million last year." Ruffneck has "partnered with the Sounders FC for three years, and every season-ticket holder gets a special-edition scarf attached to his or her ticket for opening day." O'Brien said that the two are "looking to spread soccer scarves into the NCAA and partner with colleges across the country" (SEATTLE TIMES, 3/16).