By ECS Leadership

Traveling to support your club is something supporters do across the globe. It’s an amazing means to show your adoration for the players on the pitch as they play in what is typically hostile territory. It’s tradition. Heck, some might call it an addiction.

Every year, millions of supporters travel miles and miles for the love of their clubs, and that’s made possible by affordable tickets. Typically, supporters’ section tickets (home or away) are the cheapest in the house, or among the cheapest. There are myriad reasons for this, and they go far beyond the fact that supporters aren’t watching most of the game as they chant, dance, wave flags, and do what supporters do. Security concerns aside, clubs love rival and opposing fans making their way into the stands as they create a raucous atmosphere to energize the experience. All that said, tickets should always be affordable to get fans in the house, supporters’ section or not.

Most teams at least pretend to grasp that fairly simple concept.

And then there’s Austin FC.

You see, Austin FC thinks a ticket costing upwards of $70 in the away section for a Thursday night match is acceptable in 2021. They apparently missed the memo from 2014 when San Jose Earthquakes thought that Sounders fans would be excited about being the first event in an NFL stadium and wanted to charge $45 plus $8 in fees, with zero ability to buy as a group.

ECS boycotted that game as a blatant #AwayRobbery. And we’ll be boycotting Austin Away in 2021 as well.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, we did the math.

  • In 2017, ECS regular season away tickets averaged $28.47 (High: PDX $47)

  • In 2018, ECS regular season away tickets averaged $32.13 (High: PDX $48)

  • In 2019, ECS regular season away tickets averaged $33.24 (High: PDX $49)

  • In 2020, ECS tickets would have averaged $32.78 before pandemic postponements

In 2021 so far, ECS tickets average $43.63. Oh, until you remove Austin, then it’s $32.67. We cannot, in good conscience, charge members a ticket price almost 40% higher than any regular season match in the last five years. Hell, Austin is charging almost $20 more than ECS members paid for the 2019 MLS Cup Final at home.

We know many of you were excited about traveling to Austin. We know this will likely be disappointing to many of you.

We also know that we’ll never stop fighting for affordable ticketing, irrespective of the club you support.

Please help us spread the word by using the #SoccerForAll and #AwayRobbery tags in your social media posts, and we look forward to seeing you on an away trip soon.

Photo by @heygregr

Meant to be Together

It was 442 days since ECS was in the Brougham End. The return home exceeded expectations - being with friends, raising our voices, our flags, our drums, singing and jumping until everything was sore, all in support of the boys. This is the way it was meant to be. Our coach, himself, believes that The Club is the relationship between players and fans. That relationship is best displayed through the passion and organized chaos of the Brougham End. Supporters give life to the game. There is a symbiotic and reciprocal energy between the players on the field and their supporters in the terraces, each giving the other the energy to achieve greater heights. We went from the riotous energy of hosting and winning MLS Cup to a year of watching our boys saluting an empty terrace. The contrast made it clearer than ever, we are Meant to be Together.

Photo by @maxaquinophoto

Sweet Stefan Frei

Although it was a bittersweet given Frei’s recent injury, 1000 saves is an amazing milestone.  Get well soon, Stefan, so that you can continue working on the next 1000 saves!

Portland, OR; Seattle, WA; Vancouver, BC, April 18 2021

As the 2021 MLS season begins, representatives of the Cascadia Cup Council are still working through the details on how to award the 2021 Cascadia Cup, given pandemic restrictions in Seattle, Portland, and Vancouver. At this time, many MLS teams (including Seattle and Portland) are not allocating tickets to away supporters or promoting away travel, and Vancouver will, at least temporarily, play “home” games at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, UT with no fans in attendance. The Emerald City Supporters, Timbers Army, and Vancouver Southsiders continue to evaluate options on how to properly award the supporter-owned and -driven Cup using the most fair methodology, and expect to make an updated announcement in, or before, July 2021.

Tonight is Brian Schmetzer's 400th match as head coach of the Seattle Sounders. Across 2 different eras, the stats are impressive: over 200 wins, 2 USL regular season championships, 2 USL League championships, 2 MLS Cup championships, 4 Cascadia Cup championships. But Schmetz's contribution to the club is much deeper than the on-field accomplishments, he's been part of the fabric of the club since he signed with the club as a player in 1980. His commitment to the club, love for the city and its people, and passion for the relationship between the club and fans show that he is more than a head coach, he is our steward. We'll proudly sing for Schmetz for hundreds more (and hopefully a few more championships), but his position in our club's history is secure:
We're the Seattle Freakin' Sounders, we are Brian Schmetzer's Rave Green Army.

Photo Credit: Brian Schmetzer