Even before Saturday's disheartening loss to the Colorado Rapids, this has been an emotionally taxing week for the Seattle Sounders organization. A season that has sometimes felt full of loud and public disagreements between the front office and fans added another chapter when Emerald City Supporters strongly opposed a sponsor "activation" meant to mimic tifo production.
In an effort to bridge what seems to be a growing gap with fans, Sounders majority owner Adrian Hanauer -- along with Sounders Chief Operating Officer Bart Wiley and CenturyLink Field GM David Young -- met with Emerald City Supporters during a "town-hall" style meeting. At one point a fan suggested Hanauer watch a game with ECS in the Brougham End to help better understand the experience.
Not only did Hanauer accept the invitation, he followed through the same day.
Hanauer spent the entire first half of the Rapids game in the Brougham End, singing, cheering and, reportedly, even pogo-ing (expensive loafers and all). It was his first time experiencing GA during a match.
"It was great," Hanauer told Sounder at Heart. "Seeing the camaraderie and everyone coming together for the common goal was awesome. The only stressful part for me was not being able to see the game very well. The near cross bar blocked almost the entire far side of the field and was causing me some severe heartburn."
That may help explain why Hanauer watched the second half from his normal vantage point in the suites.