Finally, we get to see the Seattle Sounders play at home for the first time this season after they opened up with two games on the road. Prior to the game on Sunday at 4:00 p.m. against the New York Red Bulls, there will be tons of different things you can do to get ready.
As always, there is the March to the Match, and this year it will have a little extra something. Not only will the MLS Cup be there, but Brad Evans will be joining in the march.
More news from Insufferable HQ:— EmeraldCitySupporter (@WeAreECS) March 16, 2017
The MLS Cup is bringing a +1 to Sunday's March to the Match and it's @brad_evans3!
The march will begin at 3 p.m., and Sounders minority owner Drew Carey will participate. Prior to that, Carey has a question and answer session at 2:30 p.m. with KIRO 97.3 FM pre-match radio host Jason Rantz taking place at The NINETY (406 Occidental Ave S).
The club also announced that they will be debuting their first virtual reality (VR) experience. The 360-degree VR will be available for viewing starting at 2:30 p.m. at The NINETY.
The VR was produced in partnership with Seattle software startup Pixvana and Intentional Futures. The experience will capture the excitement of a Sounders matchday as well as the team’s historic turnaround and postseason run to their first ever MLS Cup.
"Virtual reality has opened up an entirely new way to experience sports and we're thrilled to be able to share this unique view of the historic 2016 season," said Sounders FC Chief Operating Officer Bart Wiley. "We have enjoyed working with Pixvana and Intentional Futures in the continuing pursuit of providing our fans with some of the most memorable matchday experiences in the league."
The VR will incorporate footage from five games and will boast never before captured behind the scenes moments from the field and the stands. It will also include the footage from the championship march and rally. The VR will be viewed on an HTC Vive VR headset via Pixvana’s SPIN player in 85 resolution.
"We're proud to work with the Sounders and Intentional Futures to deliver the most immersive and most high resolution soccer content that's been captured to date," shared Aaron Rhodes, Executive Producer at Pixvana. "A compilation of five games, including the historic MLS Cup win, this VR experience gives viewers incredible access to both the fan experience and the on-field action. Thanks to Intentional Futures, we were also able to incorporate awesome graphics into the footage to create a fun Jumbotron effect throughout."
Creative Director of Intentional Futures Stephen Jablonsky added, "Storytelling in a VR environment can be a challenge, since viewers can look anywhere, at any time. We were excited to work with Pixvana and apply an entirely new visual strategy to accommodate a viewer's attention so they don't miss any of the action. You'll be part of Sounders FC's historic surge, standing inside the huddle before the game, and in the coach's spot right on the field."
But wait, there’s more.
Guess what's going here pic.twitter.com/Y3smwCk1sd— Sounder At Heart (@sounderatheart) March 17, 2017
If you can’t make it to the NINETY to experience the virtual reality, make sure you get to the stadium early and in your seats before player walk outs in order to witness the official pre-match ceremony, which is when the club will unveil the 2016 MLS Cup Championship banner. The club also encourages fans to get there early to pick up their matchday giveaway — a set of three collectible and commemorative championship postcards. A number of these postcards will be autographed, so be on the lookout for that.
The front office has also stationed a larger than life MLS Cup replica in the Southeast concourse. This is the same replica that was used on the field prior to the MLS Cup in Toronto.
Lagerwey says Sunday's home opener will be largest opener in Sounders history.— Sounder At Heart (@sounderatheart) March 17, 2017
The club is expecting more 40,000 in attendance for this once in a lifetime moment and celebration. Plan accordingly and be prepared for traffic in the SODO area.