Sometimes bigger is better.
Today in his Q&A with SoundersFC.com Adrian Hanauer talked about away allocation for Cascadia Cup matches. He notes the success of the first year, but is hesitant to think that more seats are needed due to the new hyper-unbalanced schedule.
We have had early discussions about it. We haven’t made any decisions. It’s probably important to see where the schedule comes out and who we’re playing how often. If we play more games against our Cascadia rivals, I don’t know whether a bigger allotment is necessary. It’s a piece of information we need before we move on with the rest of the discussion. We were happy with the way it worked out this year. There was great atmosphere produced. But at the same time, Portland got to fill their stadium with Portland fans, Vancouver got to fill their stadium with Vancouver fans and we got to fill our stadium with our fans. It will still be a few weeks to a couple of months before we figure that piece out.
And while the schedule wasn't out when the Alliance Council passed a resolution recommending expansion, my reasons for voting in favor are not reduced due the number of games being played. Things were successful, the "trial" period worked. Both the Seattle Sounders and Portland Timbers expanded seating for 2012 by a couple thousand. The Vancouver Whitecaps are in their permanent downtown home and won't have 1000+ unsold seats that were bought by Seattle fans.
The thing is that part of the reason justifying the new schedule is that the regional rivalries can help power the league's growth. Part of what makes those regional rivalries so powerful are the visiting fans. The Alliance Council didn't ask for 5%, or a thousand more seats. There is an understanding that things are more complicated than any ideal. But the schedule doesn't make me want an expansion of Away Allocation any less.
TV ratings for those games are higher for a reason. The atmosphere is part of that. With expanded general seating the seating for away fans should increase as well.
Here's the resolution;
RESOLUTION TO THE CLUB
The Sounders FC Alliance Council urges our front office to actively work with the Portland Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps to increase the number of tickets available for games in Portland and Vancouver. The 2011 Sounders matches in these cities were extremely successful and popular amongst Sounders fans. We feel that greater success and enjoyment would be shared if the number of available tickets were to increase.
In accordance with standards around the world and our own desires as fans of our club, the Council finds it in the best interest of its constituents to strongly recommend that the largest ticket allotment possible for traveling Sounders fans be pursued for each Cascadia match, in all competitions, each season.
The opinions expressed by myself in the above post are only my own, but should agree in general with that resolution.