Major League Soccer's Seattle Sounders are doing something most fans wish would happen after a horrible loss -- giving back some money.
It's not exactly a refund for the franchise record 36,273 who watched the Sounders lose anMLS soccer game 4-0 to the Los Angeles Galaxy on Saturday, May 8, but it's still money in their pocket. Season ticket holders will get a refund in the form of a credit on their 2011 bill.
So any fans who aren't season ticket holders and who walked up and bought tickets Saturday are not part of the deal, and season ticket holders have to decide if they want to return for another season of Sounders soccer if they're to get the credit.
But however you look at it, it's rare to get a refund for a service that has already been rendered, especially in the live sports and entertainment field.
Some angry fans of Julie Andrews in England are asking for refunds for attending her concert because she didn't sing well or long enough. Andrews had an operation on her vocal cords 13 years ago, and she resumed her singing career on Saturday by singing three solo songs using a small range of notes and assisted her backing singers with others.
A United Kingdom betting company is offering losing bettors who pick a team other than Spain to win the World Cup their money back if favored Spain wins the soccer crown.
Unless an event is canceled, it's difficult to get a refund. I've always thought of asking for my money back after seeing a lousy movie, but figure it's the chance I take when buying a ticket. I still think Sacha Baron Cohen owes me $7 for Borat.
And I've seen plenty of ugly Oakland A's losses, but never expected the team to offer a refund. The Sounders allowed four goals for the first time at home in club history. It was only the second time the club has allowed more than one goal at home in a league match.
"That wasn't Sounders soccer and it was quite frankly embarrassing, humiliating and the fans don't deserve that," Sounders FC owner and general manager Adrian Hanauer said on the team's website. "The refund will come in the form of a credit against next year's season tickets. We want our fans committed for the long haul and we think this is the right thing to do for our fans."
"As the owners of the club we reserve the right to do whatever we think we need to do to treat our fans the way they've treated us."
It's not like the team is hurting for fans, although a 4-0 pounding might turn some off. In its inaugural season, the Sounders capped season tickets at 22,000 and averaged 30,943 fans per match, establishing a new MLS record, according to the team. This season, 32,000 Sounders FC season tickets were sold at a 96% renewal rate, with a league-high average attendance of 36,144 over five games.
With season ticket renewals costing from $297 to $1,360 per season, a refund of $25 to $95 -- depending on where fans sat Saturday -- will help.
MLS soccer team offers refund after bad game