When the Sounders open up their season April 16, fans should be cheering in person for the first time since March 7, 2020. The club received final approval from regional health authorities Monday and will be allowed to have fans at Lumen Field during the 2021 season. Tickets will go on sale April 13.
Gov. Jay Inslee gave initial approval in March to host people at outdoor venues, limiting capacity to 25% of a facility’s seating or 9,000 spectators, whichever is fewer.
The Sounders are waiting until April 13 to actually sell tickets because it coincides with the date Inslee plans to determine whether King County will remain in Phase 3, a spokesperson from the governor’s office said via email. If the county is downgraded to Phase 2, the club is not expected to be able to host fans.
The Sounders’ plan is to sell approximately 7,000 seats for each of the club’s opening five matches at Lumen Field. It begins with the April 16 season-opener against Minnesota United FC and includes the Los Angeles Galaxy (May 2), LAFC (May 16), Atlanta United FC (May 23) and Austin FC (May 29).
Sounders Season Ticket Members — of which there are approximately 30,000 — will receive priority access to available tickets on April 13. If all tickets are sold out before a Season Ticket Member can make a purchase, they will be given priority for the next set of available matches. Memberships are still available, with more information available via SoundersFC.com or by calling 877-MLS-GOAL.
Any remaining tickets will go on sale to the general public April 14.
“This is a day we have been working toward and dreaming about for some time,” said Peter Tomozawa, a Sounders co-owner and president of business operations, in a news 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.”
The Sounders said they worked closely with Inslee, King County Executive Dow Constantine, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and Patty Hayes, director of Public Health — Seattle & King County, throughout the process.
“I also want to remind our fans to stay vigilant as we continue battling the pandemic,” Tomozawa said. “We encourage everyone in our community to get vaccinated as soon as they are eligible, and to continue staying distant, masking up and washing their hands.”
The Sounders announced the following as part of the updated venue protocols and additional safety measures that apply to all matches at Lumen Field until further notice:
Face masks are required for all Sounders FC fans age 2 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.
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.
Sounders FC match day is now a touchless experience. Through the Ticketmaster Account Manager, Sounders fans are able to scan their tickets right from a mobile device using new self-service pedestal ticket scanners upon entry to Lumen Field. 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.
LUMEN FIELD HEALTH & SAFETY FEATURES
Lumen Field has implemented an array of enhanced measures to make the Sounders FC match day experience as safe as possible, including a touchless venue experience, new food and beverage protocols, in addition to enhanced sanitation procedures. Restrooms have been upgraded to feature touchless faucets, toilets and urinals, while all sales transactions at Lumen Field have been transitioned to cashless to eliminate the handling and exchange of money. The amount of touchless point-of-sale options at food and beverage, box office, parking and retail locations have been increased, further utilizing chip readers and tap-to-pay terminals.
Of note, Lumen Field has become a GBAC™ STAR accredited venue, the cleaning industry’s only outbreak prevention, response and recovery certification for facilities.
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 also have 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.
FULL SOUNDERS FC FAN FAQ: https://sndrs.com/mmddfp