Despite a failing economy in which the average Joe has less and less (if any) disposable income to throw around on sports and entertainment, the city of Seattle has galvanized around the new Sounders FC franchise, to the tune of some 20,000 season-ticket holders.
Addressing a host of long odds, Seattle Times columnist Steve Kelley expresses his surprise, saying "the notion that this city could give its heart and its dollars to a team before it even played a game seemed preposterous. The thought that Seattle could love a team before it knew the roster was absurd. But the impossible is happening here. Before its first kickoff, Sounders FC is a success."
So what's to explain the unconditional love for a town that couldn't support its decades-old NBA team? "These are people who want to be involved at the beginning of something as well. To be involved in something at the outset is always exciting," reasons new coach Sigi Schmid. But in the same breath Schmid acknowledges that now "it's our challenge now to make sure those people want to come back, game after game and year after year."