Sounders To Increase Capacity For Five Games In '14; Team Strikes New TV Deal
MLS Sounders VP/Business Operations Bart Wiley on Monday said that the team will "open up CenturyLink Field to full capacity for five regular-season games" next year, according to Joshua Mayers of the SEATTLE TIMES. With the expanded capacity, the team "will likely set another attendance record" after doing so in each of the last five seasons. The Sounders' average attendance in '13 was 44,038, ranking "22nd best in the world." Wiley also said that the team's season-ticket membership was "up last season and people are renewing" at 92% going into next year. Xbox will remain the team's jersey sponsor in '14, and Wiley said the team is "actively talking to them about extending the relationship." He also touched on the MLS TV schedule, saying that teams are "limited to 14 national-television games a season," and that the Sounders are "set to have 13" next season. Wiley said that while the Sounders have a standalone website, they will "now begin to integrate into the league platform." Additionally, Wiley said that there "will be a friendly" for the Sounders in '14 after not having one this past year (SEATTLETIMES.com, 12/10).
YOUR LOCAL LISTINGS: Mayers noted Seattle-based KCPQ-Fox announced that it will "broadcast Sounders FC regular season games next season," with some games also on KZJO-MYT. Sounders games previously had aired on KING-NBC and KONG-TV. KCPQ and KZJO will "have 21 games and the other 13 will be on national television." KCPQ also will "air two 30-minute specials on the team all season, as opposed to the regular Sounders FC Weekly show during the previous arrangement." Also, because the Sounders produce the game broadcasts, the new TV deal "isn't expected to impact the status of announcers Ross Fletcher and Kasey Keller" (SEATTLETIMES.com, 12/10).