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October 16, 2011 at 1:52 PM

GM Hanauer on crowds, ticket sales, Gspurning and more

hanauer mug.jpgA pair of Sounders FC beat reporters got a chance to catch up with general manager and part owner Adrian Hanauer after Sunday’s practice at Starfire. Here’s the transcript of that conversation, which covered an array of topics…

* * *

(On perhaps having the fourth largest crowd in the world on Saturday…) “I guess we need a bigger stadium. It’s obviously just amazing and continues to amaze all of us. I think probably not only people involved with the club or are extremely connected to soccer, but I think the entire community and sports world continues to be amazed about what this team has meant to the community. I guess it’s reflected in all the fans who are coming out and participating.”

(On whether or not you open the Hawks’ Nest…) “It’s a somewhat complicated issue that involves our good partners at Xbox and Microsoft, but they realize that the best thing for us is to continue to have a full stadium and the best atmosphere possible. We’ve had conversations about the Hawks’ Nest area and it’s certainly something that we’re working towards. But nothing is determined yet. We want to make sure that demand fits supply appropriately. If we had a waiting list of 15,000 season-ticket holders, I think we’d be having different types of conversations, but we’re hopeful that we’ll get to have that conversation and that we’ll need those 2,000 seats for season-ticket holders.”

(Might last night help you build on that base of season-ticket holders?) “I hope so. As I told someone before, the hand-to-hand combat starts Monday morning with all those people, who whether for the (U.S. Open Cup) game, for last night’s game, or for Champions League are first-time (customers) or are not season-ticket holders. I imagine that people had some pretty good experiences. I think if it makes sense for them financially and time-wise, they might be prime targets for season-ticket holders.”

(How have season-ticket renewals going?) “Good. I don’t think we’re giving out numbers, but it’s going better than last year, and last year was good. You might assume it’s sort of a reflection of the continued growth, interest, passion of our fans.

(What can say on the club’s interest in goalkeeper Michael Gspurning as a prospective signing for next season? Other international updates on the story here and here.) “We know Michael well. He was here during the summer. Big, very accomplished goalkeeper playing in Greece. He’s an Austrian. We certainly don’t have anything to announce. We have no contract, but he is a player that we like. We’ve made no secret that we are certainly looking to potentially sign a goalkeeper for next season, although we’re also very confident in our young players here. If we get something done and dusted, we’ll certainly let everyone know.”

(While wanting to make sure you get the right guy, is there any motivation is getting something done early to bring in a prospective new GK over here as soon as possible?) “Not particularly. By ‘early,’ I mean we’d like to get something done for preseason for next year, but we don’t feel like we need any head-start beyond that.”

(On negotiations for a Rosales contract extension…) “It’s continuing to progress. It’s one of those things where both sides are very confident and I’m not sure there’s an enormous amount of urgency on either side, because I think we’re comfortable it’s heading in the right direction. There’s a lot of trust. It’s never over until it’s over, but I’m highly confident that we’ll have something done in weeks, not months.”


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