Seattle, WA, USA
- Originally jumping between a number of stadiums during their campaign in the USL 1st division, Seattle Sounders realized that if expansion to the MLS was going to happen they would need a stadium that fit MLS standards. One of the criteria lined out by the MLS is that stadiums must provide an intimate setting for matches, with seating between 18,000 – 30,000 seats. Qwest field was selected as the venue and with 65,000 seats; Sounders FC were confronted with a roadblock preventing them from North America’s premier soccer league.
Enter Mike McFaul, Director of Stadium Operations at Qwest Field. Mike contacted Covermaster to change the appearance of Qwest Field from a hallowed out football stadium to an intimate and energetic home for Seattle’s passionate fan base. The solution was Covermaster seat covers to convert the facility to a 27,000 seat soccer specific stadium.
The project was an ambitious one. Mike hoped to cover the entire upper deck with an artist-rendered montage that would serve to both limit the seating ability, while still being aesthetically pleasing. The upper deck was finished with a black background featuring a dynamic image of soccer players in action. It wasn’t until this was finished that the Sounders FC team realized a smaller green cover with the Seattle Logo would be printed for a middle level seating section.
Microsoft, Seattle Sounders FC’s top sponsor saw this as an opportunity to step up advertising with the club. Not only were two XBOX Live logos featured on either end of the covers, XBOX also received naming rights for the pitch. With Covermaster’s unique seat cover solutions in place, Qwest Field becomes XBOX Pitch at Qwest Field. By adding Covermaster seat covers, Sounders FC were able to book a place in the MLS while also increasing advertising and revenue options.
The end result was 200,000 square feet of beautifully designed seat covers that now adorn the top and a small mid deck in Qwest Field. Seattle’s 22,000 seasons tickets were sold out before the start of the 2009 season, making the franchise leaders in season tickets holders in the MLS. By limiting the number of seats, Seattle also received great feedback for having sellout crowds. The Seattle Times reported a “new standard for attendance and game-day atmosphere has been set”.
Posted April 1, 2009