SBD/June 28, 2013/Franchises

Seahawks To Develop A Fan Advisory Council That Will Include 12 Season-Ticket Holders



More than 2,000 Seahawks fans have applied for positions on the council
The Seahawks have developed a fan advisory council that will meet quarterly with high-ranking team execs to address ways to improve CenturyLink Field’'s gameday experience. The panel, which will be comprised of 12 season-ticket holders, will be formally titled the President’'s Fan Advisory Council and meet for the first time this fall. Coming off a season in which they nearly made the NFC Championship game, the Seahawks already have received over 2,000 applications to be on the panel, including 150 in the first day it was announced. All this comes amid an offseason which has seen the team’'s season-ticket base swell to 62,000, with a franchise record 98% renewal rate. The club also has sold 5,000 new season tickets and established a 12,000-person waiting list. Seahawks President Peter McLoughlin noted that the team chose to form the council as a way to stay in touch with the needs of the consumer. Improving the in-game experience is a point of emphasis for NFL execs, and McLoughlin said, "“We'’ve got a really good product with the Seahawks right now both on the field and off in terms of stadium experience. We'’ve gotten really high marks from the surveys the NFL has conducted in terms of game entertainment, stadium security and guest services -- but we always know we can do better.”"

THE BEGINNING OF A DIALOGUE: McLoughlin said the topics that will be discussed at meetings will largely be determined by the participating fans, but added that one thing the team is interested in hearing about is CenturyLink's recent WiFi improvements, which he believes will make the facility'’s bandwidth one of the most robust in the league. McLoughlin: “"I think it'’s just the beginning of a dialogue, and invariably if you go into these things with an open mind, I think we'’ll all learn things that we can do better.”" He added, “"All of us in the business of sports are in this because we love it, and are fans, and we'’ve been fans all our life. But giving your customer a voice is really important, and I think that'’s true in all business."” McLoughlin, who also is President of the MLS Sounders, said the soccer club's emphasis on giving a voice to its supporters had a direct impact on the decision to form the Seahawks’' panel. He said, "Having the direct dialogue with representatives of our different supporter groups is both good for our fans and good for our team and the ownership group. We all have different points of view about how we want to do things, but really the customer comes first.”"
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