When the Seattle Sounders announced last month that they would welcome fans back to Lumen Field for the season opener on April 16, one of the first questions was how they would allocate tickets to their fan base, given their 30,000+ season ticket holders.
With less than two weeks until that opener, fans finally have an answer.
The Sounders on Monday announced their long-awaited plans to welcome fans back to Lumen Field. While the guidance from State officials authorized capacity of up to 9,000 fans, the Sounders are currently planning to have about 7,000 fans for the first five matches.
Given the limited supply, the Sounders will offer tickets to season ticket holders first on April 13, with any leftover tickets going on sale to the general public the next day.
“This is a day we have been working toward and dreaming about for some time,” Sounders minority owner & President of Business Operations Peter Tomozawa said in a team release. “Getting to the point of being able to welcome the best fans in MLS back to Lumen Field would not have been possible without the guidance of so many leaders in our community. Because of their hard work and the work of countless others, we now have a robust and approved plan in place to safely welcome Sounders fans back to our matches.”
In addition to the hard cap of 7,000 fans, the Sounders announced protocols for fans looking to buy tickets, and rules once they are inside the stadium.
POD SEATING & TOUCHLESS TICKETING
The seating manifest allows for a full six feet of distance between ticket groups or pods. Ticket pods range from single seats up to sets of six. A majority of pods will be groups of two and four. Pods may be modified or added but all pods shall be sold subject to the following rules:
- All tickets will be sold in ticket pods (between one and six tickets), that must be purchased together. Ticket pods must be used by members of the same household or permissible quarantining unit, as permitted by regional health authorities.
- Where ticket transfer is permitted, all tickets in a pod must be transferred as a single unit, and the transferee is required to create an account with Ticketmaster Account Manager, accepting all these terms and conditions.
- No more than two ticket pods will share a single row, to prevent any ticket pod from having to pass another pod to travel to or from an aisle.
Face masks are required for all Sounders fans age two and older. Fans are not required to wear them while actively eating and drinking. Face masks that fit within the CDC guidelines are considered appropriate for guests when inside the stadium, and must be tightly woven and snug to the face, while covering the nose and mouth.
STREAMLINED FOOD & BEVERAGE OPTIONS
Grab & Go options have been added throughout Lumen Field to decrease contact between staff and fans. All food options are being served in a container with a lid and utensils will be individually wrapped, while Plexiglas guards are installed at all counters and point-of-sale systems to protect both fans and staff. Self-ordering Kiosks have also been installed to further reduce contact.
A reduced menu is being offered to start the MLS season to account for quicker transaction times for guests and less congestion in the kitchen and prep areas.
The Sounders also put out a full FAQ that deals with things like getting in and out of the stadium and enhanced cleaning protocols.
Assuming demand outstrips supply, there could be many thousands of unhappy season ticket holders wondering when they’ll be able to attend games, and what happens to their season tickets in the meantime. The Sounders long ago provided a credit to season ticket holders who wished to keep their tickets until it was safe to attend games. Season ticket holders who are able to score tickets will be able to apply that credit towards the cost of the tickets. Those who either cannot get tickets or wish to wait to attend, will retain that credit for future use. It was not immediately clear if the credit would roll over into 2022
All tickets are electronic in 2021 and no paper tickets will be permitted or printed. No PDFs of tickets will be permitted. Lumen Field remains a cashless venue and points of sale are touchless, including concessions and retail. The Lumen Field clear bag policy remains in effect, according to a release from the team.