The announcement that the Seattle Sounders were moving their late July match against the LA Galaxy from a Saturday to Monday July 28 has mostly gone over poorly. Sounders GM and part owner Adrian Hanauer is well aware of the complaints, but insists the team is doing its best to make the most of the situation.
"We're not naïve," Hanauer told reporters following Wednesday's training session. "It's not optimal. We understand. It's just sort of a series and sequence of events that led us to Monday night. But largely, we have a TV partner in ESPN that we love. They just signed a long-term extension with us. They think this is a huge game coming out of the World Cup -- two big teams, World Cup players.
"The significance of that was not lost on us. If there had been better days or time to do it and fit all the pieces together, we would have. So ultimately we ended up on Monday night."
Hanauer explained that the big issue was the city of Seattle approaching the Sounders and requesting the change. The Mariners are playing at home that day and there's the Torchlight Parade that night, as well as other SeaFair-associated activities all leading to a situation Hanauer dubbed a brewing "disaster." ESPN was interested in moving the game as well but couldn't make it work on Sunday.
Instead, the various parties settled on a Monday night game, a day of the week Hanauer hopes will have at least some appeal to a market that generally sees such dates as a "badge of honor."
"We do feel like we've done pretty right by our season-ticket holders over the years and that we haven't stepped too far out of line in terms of their sensitivities in making decisions," Hanauer said. "This may be as far from the over-delivering that we've ever gotten. We're not thrilled about it, but we're trying to turn a slightly negative into a positive. And our [ticket representatives] are in the office helping out anyone who has significant challenges with this game."