What Seattle and Qwest mean for MLS?

Discussion in 'MLS: General' started by wcharriscpa, Sep 5, 2007.

  1. wcharriscpa

    wcharriscpa Member

    Dec 26, 2000
    Austin
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The other thread was closed.

    But it raised some intersting points about what type of attendance and atmosphere Qwest Field could/would bring to MLS. Some said pointy-ball lines and a half-empty stadium, while others proclaimed it "the next Toronto FC."

    Tonight's USOC semifinal matchup of the Seatle Sounders v. FCD seemigly spoke to a few points that were made in the previous thread -- namely, that of attendance and associated atmosphere. In the closed thread, people made reference to 10k "sounding like" 20k, due to the stadium's unique structure. Interestingly, the USLlive.com announcers made almost a verbatim reference at least twice during their broadcast - during the first half as the attendees were still filing in. Not so much after that, though.

    Announcers indicated that this USOC semifinal matchup was the biggest crowd ever (excepting the opening Sounders game) in its history.

    And yet, the atmosphere was difficult to discern via the online stream. But that could be attributable to poor microphone placement.

    But then there's this...


    So I guess my question is.....was this or was this not indicative of what a Seattle Sounders MLS team could bring to MLS?
     
  2. 3rd Degree

    3rd Degree Member

    Feb 6, 2000
    Dallas
    Club:
    FC Dallas
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I went to a KC playoff game at arrowhead once and I would have thought there were about 5 thousand people there... and turned out to be 24K.

    Those big stadiums just kill any atmosphere IMO.
     
  3. uclacarlos

    uclacarlos Member+

    Aug 10, 2003
    east coast
    Club:
    FC Barcelona
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    The tone of your post is kinda combative. I don't see this thread going very far w/o getting closed.

    Maybe you can still edit it???

    Decents points, however.
     
  4. wcharriscpa

    wcharriscpa Member

    Dec 26, 2000
    Austin
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Edited to the best of my ability to be non-offensive, though I can't edit the quote from the attendee obviously.

    I've no intention of being "combative."

    I was just surprised to hear this announced as the second largest Sounders match, and am trying to juxtapose that against what seemed to be "relatively weak atmosphere." (and I don't mean that in a disparaging way per se, only that it wasn't what I would have expected, given the comments on the other thread....)

    I think it's a legitimate question.
     
  5. TheLostUniversity

    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Feb 4, 2007
    Greater Boston
    Club:
    --other--
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I was at the match tonight, and within the crowd it certainly seemed loud and lively. More particularly, the first half was muted for a while as much of the crowd was still filing in and looking for seats. It seems only half of the lower basin was open [per usual], and fans used to just walking in and sitting down seemed nonplussed by the need to go hunting for seats--even the need to kick out interlopers from reserved sitting. [The Sounders are an USL side, and the usual crowd is closer to 4,000. ]. The second half and overtimes became more and more charged, and the crowd basically forgot it should sit. Still, many there were new to the Sounders, and many were children [I brought my daughter, for instance], and newbies and tykes are not the raw stuff of an Inferno or Section 108. The worst fans I saw were a group of Eurosnobs behind me who had apparently come to see Edilson beat up on us Yankee yokels....Except for oohing or aahing over the occasional Edilson flash of quality, they spent their time quietly sneering at how unlike Man U or Milan it all was.
    Did wonders for the "atmosphere":rolleyes:
    Ok, now, how did all this sound away from our sections? I dunno. I could see the frantic flag waving and exuberant chanting of the supporters section, for example, but even though not so distant it all seemed muted. So maybe "earcracking to us" was "relatively weak" to them.
    In terms of "feel", and visuals, Qwest seems well situated for soccer. But it is large, and we 10,000 today were just one half of the lower basin. Even with wonderful acoustics that would make "good atmosphere" hard to sustain. A typical MLS crowd of 15,000, with the upper decks curtained off to help retain sound, would give the lower basin a crowded, buzzing feel. But this might not translate to TV or other broadcast [mlstv is terrible in this regard]. But an SSS would be far better, for the club's income and for atmosphere, with Qwest perhaps reserved for matches where a very large draw might be expected. If Real Madrid came by again, then again Qwest would be filled top to bottom-- as it was for DC United vs RM.
    Of course there is that turf...:rolleyes:.....Seattle has wonderful grass fields almost without effort, but in Qwest it is turf all the way. Not good.
     
  6. flippin269

    flippin269 Member+

    Aug 3, 2003
    Houston
    Club:
    Houston Dynamo
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
  7. SAFC Yank

    SAFC Yank Member

    May 15, 2007
    Bellingham, WA
    Club:
    Sunderland AFC
    I've just arrived home from the match - hanging around for a bit afterward, a stop for food, the 85-mile drive ...

    Aside from the group of not quite 100 behind the goal, the crowd really only had big atmosphere twice. One was right at the end of the first half, when the Sounders walked off to a standing ovation. The second was not directly after they scored, but instead a few seconds later when the ball got back near the Dallas penalty area. For a few seconds, and it was very brief, the place had a real roar to it.

    But it wasn't awful, the place wasn't dead. The crowd, at least large parts of it, certainly reacted to play. Nearly the entire stadium stood up anytime there was a reasonably dangerous Seattle attack. And the nature of the game was such that there was a lot to react to.
     
  8. okcomputer

    okcomputer Member

    Jun 25, 2003
    dc
    I'd love to see Seattle get in the league because I think they would do well but the idea of Qwest being a permenant home for them is ludicrous. I watched the game last night and the field was an abomination. The markings on the turf were even worse then Giants stadium. They should not be let in unless there is some sort of SSS stadium in the works. MLS should have learned their lesson from Gilette, Giants and Arrowhead that it is a dead end.
     
  9. Soccerdude redded

    Oct 14, 1999
    NY
    I hate to agree with you since you're from NJ,but I agree with you on this one though. Build the stadium and change the damn name while you at it. NASL died long time ago, let's not live in the past. I am sure the owner of Seahawks can build a thin can like TFC and pack him in.Soccer needs the grass fields and NO football markings.
     
  10. Dirt McGirt

    Dirt McGirt Member+

    Jun 20, 2005
    Phoenix, AZ
    Club:
    Seattle Sounders
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I totally agree that Qwest is unsuitable for long term use for an MLS club. It's too quiet with 15k not to mention the field turf and football markings. Also one thing a lot of Qwest fans gloss over is the fact that part of the MLS business model is to control the revenue streams in the stadium and that's not something Qwest will offer MLS.
     
  11. KaptPowers

    KaptPowers Member

    Dec 29, 2003
    Arlington, MA
    Club:
    New England Revolution
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I'm against them playing at Qwest as well but Seattle fans of the idea have countered that the city owns the stadium, not the Seahawks, and that football lines will be erased for soccer home games. Apparently, soccer (specifically MLS) was cited as one of the reasons to build Qwest.

    Why then an important game was played with Seahawks markings is beyond me.
     
  12. Dirt McGirt

    Dirt McGirt Member+

    Jun 20, 2005
    Phoenix, AZ
    Club:
    Seattle Sounders
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Unfortunately I think some of the Sounders fans are less than informed in regards to the stadium financials.

    Questions to ask Qwest Field proponents
    :

    1. Will the MLS pay market rent?
    2. Will MLS receive parking revenue?
    3. Will MLS receive concession revenue?
    4. Will MLS receive luxury box revenue?
    5. Will MLS receive stadium naming rights revenue?
    6. Will MLS have control of stadium use?
    7. Will MLS be able to use a grass surface for it's games?
    8. Is it likely an MLS team would turn a profit as a renter in Qwest?
    9. Is 45,000 empty seats the type of atmosphere MLS wants for it's future franchises?

    Ultimately MLS won't put a team in Seattle unless a SSS is in play and word around town is at least two of the potential ownership groups are in the planning stages of SSS development just south of the city.
     
  13. sounderfan

    sounderfan New Member

    Apr 6, 2003
    Seattle is very likely to join MLS in 2009, at Qwest.

    After that, who knows. Here is what Adrian Hanauer, a bidding investor, said to a fan via email yesterday:

    "We want to make Qwest Field the best soccer stadium in North America. That said, we will leave all options open for the future."


    How can he say something that on the surface seems so silly? Because he's the one involved in discussions to 'soccerize' Qwest even further. These talks include huge banners to 'shrink' the stadium, a removable grass pitch, MLS Seattle signage and art, more.

    Why bother? Because Qwest is in an ideal downtown location (even better than BMO) and the people who run it want MLS to work there. Plus, why not save $150 million out of the gate if you can?

    Much more on this topic here, if you actually care to learn the specifics:

    https://www.bigsoccer.com/forum/showthread.php?t=586663

    As well as a few other threads in the Seattle Expansion Forums:

    https://www.bigsoccer.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=965
     
  14. Hed7181

    Hed7181 Member

    Jul 1, 2003
    VA Beach, VA
    Club:
    New England Revolution
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Actually, MLS was not specifically sited as a reason to build Qwest Field.

    There was a conversation outlined in the Seattle expansion thread where this question was asked. The answer was that the field was build with soccer in mind, but not specifically MLS. I believe it may have been phrased like 'international soccer' or something, but MLS was not specifically sited.

    Also, the field may be owned by the city, but it is managed by another company that has FULL control over all revenue from the stadium unless otherwise negotiated. This was also answered in the same conversation. (I apologize for not digging up the interview again. I'm just posting between work projects)

    Bring MLS to Seattle, by all means. Just do it in a suitable SSS.
     
  15. ursula

    ursula Member

    Feb 21, 1999
    Republic of Cascadia
    I think the Seattle fans are good ones.

    That said MLS has not grown up enough to make these big football stadiums feel other than cavernous, aside from DCU and the relatively small RFK (which is a borderline case) and the occasional Beckham sighting. No way is Seattle/Qwest another Toronto but that's not because of the fans. We just aren't there yet as a league.
     
  16. Dirt McGirt

    Dirt McGirt Member+

    Jun 20, 2005
    Phoenix, AZ
    Club:
    Seattle Sounders
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The specifics you suggest seem to be only your opinion and one that seems to be based on wishful thinking and various quotes from only one potential ownership group.

    MLS will not come to Seattle without a SSS in play. Recent history and statements from MLS brass support my assertions.
     
  17. sounderfan

    sounderfan New Member

    Apr 6, 2003
    IF MLS wants to grow in the near term, then it is still in no position whatsoever to demand anything other than the expansion fee.

    Right now Joe Roth and Adrian Hanauer are willing to pay $30 Million to get in. No other expansion group has put their money on the table yet. Those groups are waiting to see if venues develop or fall through is various locales.

    MLS wants the $30 million. MLS wants Joe Roth. MLS wants the Seattle market. MLS wouldn't mind a 'partnership' with First and Goal, and Paul Allen, who run Qwest. For that matter, they don't seem too upset with the name 'Qwest Field,' either. Some guy named Anschutz paid a cool $20 Million for that privilege in 2004.

    I tire of this topic as a Seattle fan, because of course most MLS fans wish the league was actually further along in being able to stick to its demands and dreams than they actually are.

    I applaud the passion fans feel for this subject and the league, but in the end it is Garber, the other league investors, and the Seattle group(s) who will decide how, when and where Seattle enters MLS.

    All indicators are that MLS brass are open to Seattle at Qwest.
     
  18. Sorry but MLS has 12 years of experience with NFL stadiums and under no circumstance are they good for the league. All the crap with Tarps, signage, etc. has been tried already and it never works long term. Seattle should not be allowed in the league unless there is a plan for a SSS. Qwest is a red herring.
     
  19. sounderfan

    sounderfan New Member

    Apr 6, 2003
    What?

    I didn't even start that thread.

    Furthermore, I'd prefer an SSS for a Seattle team.

    However, those who think MLS is somehow now 'above' using alternative stadia are not focusing on reality.

    You are asking me to believe things that simply are not jiving with what I am hearing from people actually involved in the expansion process, including Garber.

    You may WANT MLS to demand SSS plans before a deal is done, but that does not make it a reality.

    Perhaps you don't know the players leading the pack (Roth/Hanauer). I do know Hanauer, and there is no way he'd be pursuing an expansion team for Qwest if he knew as a certainty that Qwest was going to be denied by the league.

    To find some common ground here, though, I'd like to also point out that Joe Roth has not ruled out the idea of an SSS, and neither has Hanauer, as the quote above states.
     
  20. sounderfan

    sounderfan New Member

    Apr 6, 2003
    MLS is still in the stage of developing its markets.

    Just ask KC, NYRB, Houston, DCU, etc.

    No SSS there, but those franchise markets have had 12 years (in some cases) to develop the brands they represent.

    Then there is San Jose.

    MLS is still in the stage of developing its markets.

    Seattle is a market they want to develop.
    Qwest Field is a venue they will accept if it can be shown as a viable business opportunity.

    Like it or not, the league has proven over time to conveniently 'alter' its requirements as needs arise in various markets and with various owners.

    It's fair for people to not want to have the league make any exceptions for Seattle.

    It's also fair for some in Seattle to wonder why they shouldn't also get a chance at the same 'exceptions' given to ownership groups already accepted into the league.
     
  21. Every market you mentioned is either building or looking to build a SSS. I have no problem with Seattle getting in and playing at qwest for a few years while a SSS is being pursued but that should not be considered the final solution there.
     
  22. denver_mugwamp

    denver_mugwamp New Member

    Feb 9, 2003
    Denver, Colorado
    Yet another Qwest field thread full of heated arguments from both sides. But in truth, it all boils down to your statement above. If the numbers work, you'll have a team. If the numbers don't work, then you're back in the expansion forums. The future of MLS soccer in Seattle is in the hands of the accountants.
     
  23. Dirt McGirt

    Dirt McGirt Member+

    Jun 20, 2005
    Phoenix, AZ
    Club:
    Seattle Sounders
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Link?? I highly doubt Garber would want Qwest as a long term option.
     

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