Scoring Sounders tickets was worth it | Home Again


November 14, 2019

I’m writing this a few hours after the joyful conclusion of the Seattle Sounders championship soccer game at Century Link Field – a game in which the Sounders triumphed over Toronto FC.

No matter that Toronto controlled the first half – the Sounders won, 3-1. I watched the game on TV, while more than 69,000 fans watched the sell-out game in person, the largest crowd in Century Link history.

During the frenzy of ticket sales in the days leading up to the game, I looked online to check prices. As I recall, the cheapest tickets listed were $350. I believe the highest price was $5,000, perhaps $6,000, presumably box seats, each box with space for a number of wealthy soccer enthusiasts, all probably accustomed to the most expensive seats at athletic events.

I learned, though, that some people attending did not pay upwards of $350 for their tickets.

I know the latter to be true, as my daughter, her husband and their two children – 8-year-old and 10-year-old soccer players – all attended the game.

I might as well admit that I lost a $2 bet I made with my 10-year-old grandson Adam, who told me privately that their family would be attending the game. I am the grandmother, with great wisdom to offer; consequently, I instinctively knew better, of course.

I said I was absolutely certain they were not attending a sports event—even soccer! – for which the lowest priced tickets were going for $350. (And tickets are full price for children.)

So, although I was eager to turn my attention to watching Abby slog through her cold/ rainy/muddy soccer game, and later watch Adam play, Adam and I spent precious moments invested in the “I’m right. You’re wrong” sort of conflict that seldom ends well for either participant.

In retrospect, I let that back-and-forth go on too long simply because I so adore that child that if he has some minutes of his 10-year-old self to argue with his grandma, I’ll take those minutes. He knows this, of course.

So, before I talked with his mom about the game, I bet the two bucks. “You’re not going Adam. I’ll bet you two dollars.” Later that afternoon, following my conversation with daughter Lisa, I fluttered two one-dollar bills over the back seat of the car to Adam, sitting behind me.

“Here, babe,” I said. “I pay when I lose a bet.”

One of the bills immediately floated to me, past my headrest.

“Here’s your participation dollar, Grandma,” Adam said. Then the next bill floated over my shoulder. “And here’s your dollar for the raffle.”

What participation? What raffle? What a goofy kid. (He eventually agreed to keep the $2.)

Anyway, yes, my beloved little family hopped on a bus and ended up at Century Link Field with 69,000 other soccer fans. They were proof positive that although the cheapest tickets for an event might list for $350, there sometimes is opportunity – usually through someone else’s kindness – to get a better price.

They sat high in a corner, each one thrilled to be there. Their tickets cost $50 each, an investment in family solidarity. Perhaps they dipped into next year’s vacation money, but I think they spent $200 wisely.

As for me, I watched Adam and Abby play soccer yesterday. I’m Ok with staying home today.

PS: If you missed the opportunity to tell a veteran “Thank you for your service,” it’s not too late. Veterans Day has passed, but expressing gratitude to those who served our nation is always appropriate and appreciated. So, our country’s military veterans, I honor your service, your sacrifices.

The USA is flawed, yes, struggling toward justice and mercy, but our country is a democracy, and you served to support that democracy. You helped keep America great. Thank you.


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