Stewards Were Told to Provoke Us Claim Timbers Fans

Posted in Fan Culture, Portland, Seattle

Published on October 10, 2012 with 66 Comments

 

Fans leveled accusations that stewards were provocative and heavy handed

There is anger among Portland Timbers fans this week after what they see as harassment by stadium security at last Sunday’s derby in Seattle.

Sounders FC won the match 3-0 in front of record breaking numbers of fans including a sizeable traveling contingent from Portland, estimated to be between 1200 and 1500.

The complains fall into three basic categories:

a) Procedures agreed on a pre-match conference call were not followed by security staff

b) Stewards had been given instructions to deliberately provoke visiting fans

c) The away fans were forced to exit the stadium directly into streets where Sounders fans were also leaving, endangering the safety of both.

There had been a meeting about procedures for coping with a large away support in the run up to the derby between the two sides.

Copious rules and restrictions are placed on visiting fans at both Seattle and Portland, such as arriving two hours before kick off, being penned inside the car park until the gates open and being kept in after the final whistle. The names of traveling fans on the buses have to be supplied in advance.

This part of the arrangement appears to have run smoothly. It is the events inside the stadium and post-match that are causing the controversy.

Both Supporters Groups, Timbers Army and Sounders FC’s Emerald City Supporters, send their own stewards to away games whose role it is to ensure conformity to the agreed rules and their own members’ adherence to them.

Timbers Army sources claim that procedures for an element of self-policing at the stadium had been  agreed but say they were swept by the wayside on the day amid an acrimonious and hostile atmosphere at the North East corner of the stadium that housed the visiting supporters.

It appears that despite the authority given to those stewards by consent of both sides in advance, Timbers fans’ representatives were consistently overruled in Seattle and their authority challenged.

“They were coming down on minor infractions, exactly the kind of thing our security were supposed to be dealing with,” said one Timbers Army leader.

“When our stewards questioned the reasons for an ejection, they too were threatened with ejection by the Police,” said the source who named the officer involved in one incident.

Other fans identified one particularly aggressive steward by his badge number citing his aggressive behaviour as the source of further acrimony.

Accusing home stewards of heavy handedness is par for the course after derbies and not unusual from Timbers fans on away trips, but there is one very serious accusation which will surely cause outrage if proven to be true.

Nick Hambleton, a 34-year-old behavioural specialist is a Timbers fan who was at the stadium. He heard stewards claiming they had been instructed to act provocatively and instigate trouble:

“Some of (the security staff) voiced to our supporters that they had been instructed to “fuck with us” in order to draw ejections. That is a direct quote from them.”

It is not clear where those instructions came from but if stewards were instructed to deliberately provoke confrontations that is a very serious matter and merits investigation, as much to clear the Seattle authorities as to identify the source.

However the biggest threat to public safety came from another decision made on the day, and counter to the agreed plans; namely the entrance and exit routes for the Portland fans.

Whereas their entry was made on a quiet access road to the east of the stadium, somebody on the day reversed the decision to return them to their buses along the same path.

Instead their exit was forced through streets packed with Sounders fans also leaving and this led to several unnecessary flashpoints according to Garrett Dittfurth,  the Communications Officer for the Timbers Army.

“We expected to be led out the same way we were brought in, which was a secure path that picked up and dropped off right where our buses had been parked next to Safeco.

I believe their excuse for not taking us down the same path was that in the march up to Centurylink they claimed there had been vandalism.”

 

The blue line signifies the entry route; the red line is the exit route

Dittfurth claims he saw no such vandalism.

“They took our group into the stadium three separate trips,” continues Dittfurth.

I was one of the last in and came in with another TA board member following the same path. I have no idea what they mean by vandalism as all looked fine to me and I noticed nothing.”

Jeremy Wright represented the Timbers Army on the pre-match security call and told us that much of what had been agreed last Wednesday was ignored on the day:

“As the Travel Chair I was on the security conference call on Wednesday October 3 at 2:00 p.m.  We went through our travel plans and timing and then Seattle operations walked through the “security plan” for the day.

I quote “security plan” because there was literally never anything in writing sent to us.  One of the largest away support to ever attend a MLS match, in one of the most heated rivalries in North America, and we received a Google map of the parking location.

That’s it.  Everything was verbal.  And practically everything said on the call turned out to be a fabrication.”

Dittfurth confirmed that Timbers owner Merritt Paulson contacted representatives of the traveling fans vowing to communicate to the league concerns on their behalf.

“Our Front Office has been in contact with us and has expressed their frustration with Seattle not treating us in the same regard they treat their supporters. From my understanding the point of the conference call is to express their frustrations to the league.”

A conference call has been scheduled for Thursday with the two clubs and Major League Soccer and a report has been prepared by fan representatives.

Leaders of 107-ist, the sub-section of the Timbers Army which governs external relations, have asked to be allowed on that conference call, and have been refused.

“We have asked to participate. We were told by our own Front Office that they would like to keep the call between themselves, the league and Seattle for now. They have asked us to supply them with a list of complaints etc”, said Dittfurth.

Officer Mark Jamieson is the media spokesman for the Seattle Police Department. He attended the match in his capacity as a Sounders fan and sat not far from the away fans.

He said:

“I don’t have any reports of any issues from our folks. I did a search and I don’t find that we made any arrests.”

He said that the King County Sheriffs inside the stadium were off duty officers contracted to specific events. Questioned about reports of any vandalism outside the stadium, he said:

“I don’t have any. I’m not aware of any reports of vandalism or anything surrounding the match. You can go online and you can see if there were any incidents of vandalism or disturbances right around that area.”

Prost Amerika has viewed the Seattle Police Department online records for the period between 3pm and 6pm of that day. There were no reported incidents on the route through which the away fans entered.

Officer Jamieson said no incidents of vandalism were reported to the police

Asked if the Seattle Police would expect to hear of any crime of vandalism outside the stadium, he responded:

“Yes. Absolutely.  I don’t have any reports of any vandalism that I can locate.”

This means that the decision to send the Timbers fans out among Sounders fans on Occidental Way after the game was taken due to an incident of vandalism considered insufficiently important to report to the Seattle Police, but sufficiently important to endanger the public safety of both sets of fans.

In an article for Prost Amerika to be published tomorrow, outlining a series of incidents on the day and agreements breached by the security staff, Wright revealed what the Security Staff had told him regarding the vandalism:

“I was told by the #2 in command that we would no longer be going back the way we came behind Qwest and Safeco as outlined in the security call.  Why were we changing plans?  I was told  fans had “vandalized” Safeco field.

When I inquired about the nature of this vandalism I was told that stickers had been placed on light poles on the access road.  So, because of the “vandalism”, Sounders security decided it was going to dump 1500 Timbers fans onto Occidental avenue surrounded by tens of thousands of Sounders fans.”

If Wright’s assertion is true, then someone took a decision to abandon a safe and agreed plan and re-route visiting fans into direct contact with thousands of innocent Sounders fans because of stickers. It barely seems feasible.

As Dittfurth concludes:

“If Don Garber’s biggest fear is a riot in a soccer stadium in the U.S. as he has said on several occasions he should probably pay special attention to the decision to pitch 1,500 Timbers supporters onto a street full of at least 3x as many Sounders supporters after a game.”

We did approach Sounders FC for comment on this story.

More Derby Coverage:

Three and Easy for Classy Sounders – Match Report
Sounders FC Player Ratings 

Relive Sunday’s Derby with Action and Fanshots Galleries / Caption Competition

The Ross Fletcher Article: Calling GOAL Differs Across the Globe
Osvaldo Alonso is ‘improving every single day’
Andy Rose’s Message to England – I say ‘Come out and see it to believe it’
Tiffert: The best game since I’ve been here

Also See:

Sounders Fan Op-ed: It is unacceptable that employees of our clubs are putting fans in situations where we feel unsafe





66 Comments

Comments for Stewards Were Told to Provoke Us Claim Timbers Fans are now closed.

  1. Please post a followup on this.

    • “Please post a followup on this.”

      Jason,

      I hope to. But if the Sounders/Seahawks/Stadium Security won’t comment, I have nothing to post. The invite is open to them to respond and I will print what they say.

  2. Sorry timbers fans if all this is true. As a sounder fan at the game i extremely enjoyed bantering with the timber fans sitting next to me. Hopefully this will not ever happen again because it would be a damn shame if this hampered timbers fans from making the trip to the stadium next season. As much of a sounder fan i am, i am even more a fan of the game and fans from both sides of that game sunday made it unforgetable for me. Figure out what went wrong clink so it never happens again.

    • Dr Z,

      Thank you for being the fan that you are. It is Cascadia fans like you that make this rivalry, and all soccer, so amazing. Being a Timbers fan, there are times when I love giving Seattle crap. For everything and anything. But at the end of the day we all more in common than we may know. And we both have a vested interest in the growth and survival of each other’s fan base. I wish more Sounders fans had the same mind set as you.

      I may hate you for 90 minutes, but I love that you’re as passionate about soccer as I am.

  3. I was there, and though I can’t confirm that “Some of (the security staff) voiced to our supporters that they had been instructed to “**** with us” in order to draw ejections”, I believe it. It’s absolutely consistent with the security staff’s behavior. I was on an aisle where several ejected fans were led past me by security. When I began asking questions during one ejection, I was baited into an argument with one of the security, and honestly felt physically threatened by him at one point — at which point another security member pulled him away from me.

    • Based on what you’ve just stated there, it sounds like it wasn’t necessarily policy, it sounds like there were a few ********s in the security staff trying to start trouble. I’m a Sounders fan, but that doesn’t necessarily surprise me.

    • Security groups everywhere have *******es who make life miserable for fans, many who are not doing anything heinous. I have heard several stories about heavy handed tactics with Sounders supporters all over the stadium. So no surprise people got baited. Having traveled to Portland several times for matches, I’ve seen good and bad. But, if they dumped you out on Occidental, the jackass who made that decision should be strung up like a pinata and whacked with a bat.

  4. “Attempted Crack”

  5. Interview Barnacle for instant lolz.

  6. quest security and king co pigs antagonized and harassed the TA when we had 150 there (in 2004 before soccer was invented) and they antagonize and harass us when we have 1,500 the only difference is there are seattle fans in the stadium now

    • Lucas,

      how does the backhanded insult to the Seattle fanbase help your case?

      • What case?

        • Exactly

    • Stay Classy

  7. I feel for the traveling fans from PDX and sincerely hope this gets resolved. The last thing we as supporters want, is a continuance of this type of nonsense occurring for either group next season…

  8. I had a great time until security started kicking people out for no reason. I know of one who never even made into the stadium. It is sad to me to think that is how Seattle welcomes other fans. I know we are rivals but no one that I know of did any harm to the stadium. But to be kicked out because we where waving our flags. That was bs to me. Security asked him to move down 2 steps to wave the flag. He did and still try kicked him out. I was disappointed in the way us Timber fans where treated. But that will not stop me from supporting my team.

  9. Just an echo… I wasn’t there, but as a Sounders fan that goes to road games, I can assure you that I would not want to be treated that way. This is an unacceptable situation. Whether they were going to “**** with you”… well that makes little sense. That is, until, you see the other stupid behavior.

    Mr Garber, please, please pay attention to this. It went ok this time, but this is where you write the chapter on how to do this part the right way. This sounds as if it was all the security company, and if it was, they need to be fired/fixed, NOW.

  10. As opposed to Jeld Wen, where they send Timber Joey with a slab into the ECS section. Because that’s smart.

    • Joey did that on his own because he’s a dolt in real life. He was reprimanded by the team and told to keep away next time.

      • You mean just like the dolt supporters on both sides that start crap with other fans that puts us in this situation in the first place?

        If people all stopped being dolts, we wouldn’t have this problem.

        For anyone to suggest the Sounders FO directed the security staff to “f@#k with Portland fans” is ludicrous. To suggest a couple of security guards were probably unpopular in high school and thus power tripping for wearing their fake badges, is far more likely.

  11. This seriously bothers me. I’ve been harassed by aggressive security at away games and it sucks and its inappropriate and unprofessional, but that pales in comparison to the potential for harm to any supporter or fan due to the actions or lack of actions of the security teams. No one wants to read about a beating or someone’s parent who got brain damage in a fight. This needs to be addressed, and addressed aggressively.

  12. Prostaff (the dolts in green/yellow/red/or white jackets shirts) are a bunch of misfits for the most part. I work at key arena and deal with them daily. As a Sounder fan who has travelled because I can tell you I would be a bit terrified were me and my friends dumped into that situation (although to be fair there were a lot of timbers fans outside when we got out when I went down there). I am very sorry they didn’t treat you with the same respect in which we were treated.

    I hope that next year, after yet another year of no all out brawls, they will figure it out. Or trust what we’re saying works and doesn’t work.

  13. I didn’t see any of these problems. Did any riots break out after the match when supporters mixed with regular fans who are not part of the supporters groups and have no animosity to away team supporters..What I did see were 20-30 Portland fans March with seattle fans before the game on the March to the match and no incidents occurred !!!!

    • You are truly an uninformed idiot. Every single one of those Timbers supporters should have been removed for their own safety. I imagine Seattle P.D. had a pretty good eye on them. There were at least 3 fights that broke out on Occidental on the way out due to “good natured” bantering that had to be broke up. Would you like to explain those?

      • Thunderbear,
        Explanation for those fights: the Timber fans were thrust into the vastly larger group of Sounders supporters by Sounder “security” staff. You have your own security staff to blame for that. It would be a real shame if the actions of Sounders security staff were what got the ball rolling to end the organized away travel. It wouldn’t keep traveling supporters away, but the result would be much more dangerous. Which is what Garber wants to avoid.

        • Rene,

          Pardon this interruption but I’m wondering if you read the above article? In it it clearly states that the Timbers supporters were led out from an exit that they were not supposed to be led out of that was unsecured.

          How in any way is that “our security staff’s” fault? It was Seattle’s security staff forcing the decision under protest from our travel liaisons.

          • It was a security failure. Are we agreeing on that? Because of choice of words, your last sentence contradicts itself, which I’m sure is not your intention. At any rate, I know of at least one child & two pregnant women that were in this security failure. The supporters groups aren’t made up solely of dude-bros & hooligans. Families are involved.

          • Are we both Timbers fans thinking the other one is a Sounders fan?

          • I sort of noticed that too (that you are both apparently Timbers), and as a Sounder fan got a good chuckle out of it.

            I blame the 2nd sentence of Thunderbear’s retort to hattrick.

          • Yeah, & then, thinking Thunderbear was a Sounders fan, I said “you have your own security staff to blame for that” & it went downhill from there. Oh well.

  14. Countless others mixed in at local bars for a pre-match brew,

  15. I have season tickets in 105 – directly below the away fans.

    I believe there are rules in place for the stadium about behavior by fans and potentially being removed from the stadium, if abusing those rules.

    As I stood in my section with my two kids and wife, I watched hundreds of fans signaling up yours, fu at Sounders fans. I am sure Sounders fans also did the same thing. I can imagine, as I have seen “fans” around me before being ejected, that it could have happened on Sunday to Sounders fans as well.

    I am no church mouse and I grew up in England, so I love rivalries, but give me a bleeping break Portland fans – you are no saints. If your behavior goes over the line, as dictated by stadium rules, then you maybe removed.

    Sorry, you felt abused, but my guess is the Security staff didn’t take a shine to all the abuse being dished out from the NE corner.

    Until next year – its a great rivalry.

    Shoreline Sounder

    • My friend next to me was threatened with ejection over saying a normal voice “I paid good money for these seats.” And then asked to fork over his ID. That is not good security practice.

      • What was the rest of his sentence? “….Like the rest of the Sounders Groupon fanbase” or something like that, right? (Pretty sure I saw this discussed over at STF)

        Point being the remarks were incindiary in nature. To act a complete victim is probably not a fair representation.

  16. I call bullsh*t. I don’t believe A WORD the Timbers Army ever says. They have a HISTORY of lying and just making stuff up. Honestly, what i hear here is them trying to drum up excuses as to why their support sucked during the match. Like the report says, they constantly complain that they aren’t treated like Gods at away stadiums, no matter what stadium its at. The Timbers Army are notorious liars and anything they say can and should be taken with nothing more than a grain of salt.

    Oh, and btw, their 1200 traveling support is no where near the largest away support MLS has ever seen. Toronto brought OVER 2000 to Columbus in their inaurgural season. It’s just that the Timbers Army wants everyone to forget that and only focus on them. Narcissistic douchebags.

    • Wanting to feel safe IS NOT wanting to be treated like gods. Security staff in Dallas’ Pizza Hut Park was friendly. Houston’s in their old stadium was apathetic at best. Neither were menacing.

  17. Things I saw once I joined the busses south of the Stadium prior to the match.

    Drunken optimism. Good cheer. Banter.

    Things I saw from the top of 301.

    Ushers putting up with obnoxious drunks. And laughing along with us when we were funny. And a ****bird of an interim coach/GM prove to me that he hates his own fans.

    Things I saw exiting the stadium… down the concourse prior to being dumped out the streets.

    Uniformed SPD officer after uniformed SPD officer.

    Things I saw on the street.

    No stadium security or uniformed SPD. Verbal abuse to families. Sucker punches. Theft. And a crew cab pickup, revving it’s engine and popping the clutch, on the wrong side of the road, for 3/4 of a block down Occidental, filled with Seattle fans, screaming at, and trying to scare the living **** out of two young men and a woman wearing PTFC jerseys.

  18. I’m sorry but since when do the cops care what anyone has to say or do in this country? You’re lucky you got out alive compared to how Seattle PD treats it’s on citizens.

  19. The attitude of the wanna be cops and the real cops was really beyond anything they displayed before. They really outdid themselves this time.
    There’s no way in hell I would ever bring my parents or any children with me to Sounders matches in Seattle, not because of the fans but because of the unprofessional and in some cases out of control thugs with radios and cops protecting them. No way I would want them to be disrespected or treated like the passengers of Con Air.
    Just remember that when you guys come to JW, as much as many of you are complete jackholes and try to do stupid ****, JW security and Timbers FO treats you with respect.
    After all that that went down Sundays in the stands, I hope thet reconsider giving Seattle any tickets at all.

    • If Seattle away support were banned from JW, I’m sure it would be reciprocated by Seattle’s FO. And there you go, no more derby atmosphere. Short-sighted much?

      Also have to point out, you don’t see issues with a number of Sounders supporters being ejected, fights breaking out, or problems when we’re dumped on the street surrounded by Portland fans at JW. JW security doesn’t have to do much, because we take care of ourselves. Maybe TA needs to take policing its own a little more seriously.

      Or maybe all these problems are 100% Seattle’s fault. If you believe that, I’ve also got some oceanfront property in eastern Oregon I’d like to sell you.

      • Truth. We do get “dumped” out on the street after matches at PGE Park. I have yet to see any of the away Sounders fans start a bloody thing. Not saying that security didn’t hassle some, but if you cry wolf…

        • Big difference being you get “dumped” approximately 15 feet from where your buses are parked.

      • The reason you don’t see flounder fans being tossed out of JW in the same numbers as us is because JW staff are told by Timbers FO to treat you guys with respect and use restraint. If they were insructed to be complete ****s to ECS you would see the same numbers, see the difference Sherlock?
        No matter how much self policing the TA does it doesn’t matter when Clink security continues to be as$holes to us and punk out on agreed terms.
        As far as the “derby atmosphere”, it can f*cking die if we continue to be harassed like that and seattle fans get the baby gloves treatment when they are down here. And the rest of the league would find out just how punk as$ Sounders FO and Clink are and how they treat away support.

        • If that’s fluffybunny, I’d hate to meet abrasivebunny. ;-)

        • Fluffy, did you not read all the comments? I also replied earlier that Sounders fans have been hassled by the Security ****s at the CLink too. Our FO has responded to these incidents. That being said, I see much less whinning on our boards about this kind of treatment towards our away support whether crap like this happens or not. I have traveled away, and spoken with many who trek all over the country to support our boys, and never have I heard these kinds of complaints about security, cops, etc. Maybe it really IS just you guys, and maybe it is CLink staff. I’m gonna put money on both. :P

        • I’ve gotten shtick from security at JWF before, and I’m not even a person who sings or shouts. To suggest that security at your park doesn’t ever act improperly and that only the security at Clink does is incorrect. Both sides have these issues.

  20. Welcome to Seattle!

    I think the mistake made by the author and by Timbers supporters is in assuming that the behavior of the police is in any way related to the match. As a life long Seattlitte I assure Seattle and especially King Co. sheriffs always go the extra mile to **** with people. They are currently under a consent decree with the DOJ for their use of force. You’re not special, they **** with everyone.

    The notion that the MLS commissioner will somehow change this behavior is cute. A federal investigation didn’t.

    To be clear I don’t like or approve of what happened. It’s just not unique and not restricted to Timbers fans.

  21. Account of a random travelling TA member:
    On the way into the stadium, everything seemed to be handled quite well. I saw no one doing anything other than chanting and walking into the stadium. We were a large group, though, and I was towards the middle, so many things could have happened outside my zone of perception, but I doubt it.

    I was at the top of the 100 level in the stands, and while security were being hardasses about flying flags, it wasn’t excessive. There was just as much antagonism on both sides of the conversation. A representative from the Timbers came by and asked us to stop waving flags, so we did. Shortly after that, there was a TA member who was way too drunk, and lost it. Security handled that about as well as could possibly be expected, including getting the section cleaned up in a relatively quick manner. No incidents at all during the second half.

    On the way out, while we were indoors, there was absolutely nothing of note, but as soon as we were dumped out onto the streets a good distance from the buses, there was some bad fan interaction. I was about 1/3 to 1/2 of the way back, and saw 3 separate instances of altercations to differing degrees. One of which was VERY close to breaking into a full out brawl involving at least a dozen people from each side. One of the difficulties in this is that there were no “neutral” people of authority around. So people who were only trying to break it up are being dragged in.

    This was no more intense than anything I have seen at a major college football rivalry game. However, given the leagues stance (I don’t know if it has been explicitly stated or just implied) this was handled poorly. If they were really concerned about incidents happening, then they would have had uniformed officials escorting the TA out, so that if/when something happens, it can be diffused quickly.

    • SPD and stadium security should have been present on the entire route from stadium to buses – sounds like this was poorly planned. I think there should also be an explanation of the route change, and evidence of the alleged vandalism if that was the reason for re-routing.

  22. Stickers are vandalism now? because, what…. they might cover up one of the other stickers already on these polls? If I had to guess, somewhere in the neighborhood of 95% of the polls in the DT core already have some sort of sticker on them. And every time I’m at Jeld-Wen, I always seem to see a few SSFC related stickers as well. Certainly not a situation that should cause a humanity-flow-reroute.

    And as for in-stadium, the supporters groups *really* need to be given the chance to self-police, and an equal amount of latitude needs to be given traveling SG sections as to home SG sections. Frankly, I would like this to mean Smoke & Flares for the ECS while we are in PDX, but that is neither here nor there. Only when an SG fails to self-police should the actual authorities step in. There may be legal alcohol related exceptions to this, but those exceptions are in line with what the ECS is subjected to in the Brougham end as well.

  23. I know that the exit path for the TA was actually via the main concourse around the south end of the stadium. Security seemed to be completely lost, as ECS was attempting to pack up the overheads, they were moved out into the stands so as that the TA could pass around that end of the building. Numerous ECS tifo crew were treated poorly being told to vacate the building, when they’re waiting to fold the overheads.

    CLink has numerous exit points, and for them to be marched out the south end of the building, when the NE exit could be theirs exclusively, AND have the buses use the turn around by the NE security gate.

  24. A few thoughts from a traveling Sounders supporter:

    The security situation in Vancouver was similar for us two weeks ago: inbound escort, nothing official (i.e. stadium provided) going out, with drunken Whitecaps fans trying to start fistfights on several occasions (including in close proximity to women/children). This is a huge reason why ECS is so big on providing their own security for their members. Good luck to the traveling TA with this… you’re gonna need it.

    Also, although it definitely sounds like a disservice was done with the rerouting on the TA exit, I also tend to take much of what is being reported by the TA with a grain of salt. I have personally been on trips to JW with the ECS and witnessed things first-hand that I’ve seen exaggerated or twisted to no end by Timbers fans to the story that fits their own preconceptions. Basically everything short of claiming that we were eating their children. I give much credit to those posters here that have given balanced accounts of what happened.

    It’s also important to separate out the involved entities from one another: the team/FO, the stadium staff (who often times operate independently and serve different masters), and the local police (here in Seattle, as others have stated, they are equal-opportunity abusers). It’s quite difficult to believe these entities were working in concert with one another to conspire against the visiting supporters, and there are frequent misunderstandings of how these groups interact (or don’t interact) with one another. For example, I’ve seen Portland folks who are unaware that JW security doesn’t work for the Timbers and are a separate entity that operates largely independently on match days per their own set of stadium rules and instructions.

  25. I was not at this match as I was recovering from a beer soaked trip to Eugene where I watched the Ducks beat up Barney. But I do know some TA folks that went that are absolutely reasonable and honest folk that have shared their experiences. I believe them.

    I also know that I have found many an ECS sticker strategically plastered at Jeld- Wen. I find it to be vandalism, so if any TA did it in Seattle, shame on them. Not cool.

    Apparently security is an issue in both houses: Jeld Wen and Clink. I sit in section 123 at JW. Directly below the visitors support, and also in a heavy “stub hub” area. For both PDX based games I sat next to obnoxious, passionate, good natured Sounders fans. We ribbed each other but good. However….. I also know (as I sit in section 123 at JW) that ECS security has blocked Timbers season ticket holders from their seats (my wife and I being amongst them) and spit on Timbers fans as they left JW (again, first-hand experience unfortunately).

    I posted my experiences on Stumptown Footy, and linked to the ECS message board thread were the behavior was admitted.

    The broader question is how do we keep the rivalry intensity without it resorting to violence….because we are but a match away from a forest fire.

    Security has to be tightened…a lot, and check yourself people.

    • To be fair, that is ECS. They end to be a bit overzealous on the road sometimes. I had some friends who came early so they could be up front and watch the game. The ECS crew told them off and spent most of the match insulting them, and they were Sounders supporters.

      As a season ticket holder I have asked the office to look into the issues brought up and the experiences from family who came up on the TA. We’ll see what they come back with.

  26. Clearly the Port of Seattle and the Mariner’s were worried about what stickers on light poles would do to traffic on their access road. Thus the congestion caused by stickers led to the Mariner’s putting the kibosh on 1,500 TA walking on their private access road when leaving the stadium.

  27. I got separated from my group when leaving the CLink. I was all alone trying to figure out how to get back to the buses so I asked a white shirted security employee. He gave me directions across what must be the front of the stadium. The pep band was out playing and there were a thousand ECS milling about. The first few fans I encountered were pleasant and thanked me for coming out. Then two grown men decided they wanted my flag and my scarf. They approached me from behind, one grabbed my flag, one grabbed my scarf. I wasn’t in the mood to lose my stuff, so a verbal exchange ensued. I walked to a uniformed SPD officer, asked him to keep these two men from assaulting me and for directions to my bus. He told me, “just move along, there’s nothing I can do for you”. I walked to the next cop I saw, asked him directions and to keep those two men from following me. He gave me directions, which turned out to be wrong, and away I went. I ended up on a side street all alone when the two guys showed back up and physically jumped me. One guy punching me in the ribs while the other tried to take my scarf. I swung my pvc flag pole as hard as I could across the one guys face and tried to get myself against a wall when some more TA showed up, walking in the opposite direction, to get things broken up.

    Eventually met up with the bulk of the TA being led down the street back to the buses. Once we got to the buses, a limo pulled up and several Sounders fans jumped out and tried to start a fight. A red shirted security officer then started throwing TA members to the ground in an effort to keep them from responding to the taunts and threats from the people who pulled up to our buses in the limo. There were several issues like this that need to be addressed. It will lead to a much bigger issue if the Seattle front office doesn’t do something about it for next year.

  28. Having not read the comments, I will say that I did exit out of the SE stairs and onto the back road between the railroad tracks and the car garage. I did notice that a bus was parked back there. I would venture a guess and say it was the bus for the Timbers. If that was their only reason for moving us. It was a poor choice.

    • Now it’s all so clear. Gavin “thier goalkeeper kept them in the game” Wilkinson was afraid of being near the Timbers Army and had them rerouted.

  29. I sat right next to the Timbers’ fan section and was impressed by their good cheer and enthusiasm, but a few isolated Timbers fans were openly taunting the home crowd. However, I think Timbers fans were more embarrassed by these few obnoxious folks, than they were supportive of these rascals’ disruptions.

    Additionally, there was some awkward chaffing caused by placing a rowdy, well-lubricated away team section right next to a home team section predominantly populated by sober adults and their kids.

    Personally, my son and I sat next to an agreeable couple supporting Portland who were drinking diet soda. The only potential flashpoint came during the match when the couple disagreed with my reactions to some fouls that I had deemed to be fair 50/50 challenges.

    There’s no excuse for bad security at the Clink. The Seahawks security were not and are not prepared to deal with travelling fans in the magnitude on display at last Sunday’s game.

    Clink security should have a summit with Husky stadium security in order to better understand how to handle passionate travelling support without enraging it.

  30. Moe i dont believe you and all your doing is making a mockery of a serious situation. If you want attention write fan fiction your obviously good at it. I watched two men get kicked out by spd after the game and they were sounder fans. Lets move on but lets make sure its in forward fashion. Timber fans please continue show up and to see through both seattle fans and your own fans bs and enjoy ourselves while the rest of these idiots bicker.

  31. This is disappointing on so many levels, but first let me say that I think its a disappointing article from PA, whose writing is usually so good. In particular, leading this story with the headline that you did is just silly. The only thing of real substance here is that the egress of the TA after the match was botched, resulting in their having to walk amongst Sounders supporters back to their bus. Despite this, no riots broke out, so well done to both sets of supporters there. Almost everything else herein is idle hearsay, especially this claim of institutionalized provocation that you chose you put in your headline. This article was always going to draw a heated response from both sides, but to give such prominence to what is little more than junior-high level gossip (‘I heard Nick Hambleton say that he heard that someone on the security staff told someone in TA that someone in Seattle told them to **** with us…) is below your usual standards of journalistic integrity.

  32. I’ve had stadium security throw out two Sounders fans I had purchased tickets for to see a Sounders match at Clink for the last Open Cup Final last year. The Fire’s away support had heckled the Sounder fans sitting in the next section, and my two friends were heckling back. Nothing was thrown – just words back & forth.

    My friends – again Sounder fans – were ejected for their *language* by Clink security. Just for the foul language.

    It happens. I’m not going to defend them and this is not a battle I’m trying to get involved in – but the point is Timber fans are not singled out in this issue with security in the stadium. They do not discriminate and they absolutely throw out Sounders fans. The difference is you don’t hear Sounders fans talking about it afterward (perhaps out of embarassment for their own actions).

    • I think the reason you don’t hear about it is because they did something wrong (against the rules they were aware of) and are embarrassed. The issue isn’t that Timbers fans were thrown out for breaking the rules. (those ones deserved it) The issue is that that some people where thrown out for no reason, stadium security provoked people, and put upwards of a 1000 of us in a situation that could have resulted in injuries and even fatalities. Nobody is defending those of us who got thrown out for being asshats, but rather we are upset because some of us were punished for simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Some of us were threatened with ejection because our wallets looked like a weapon and never given the opportunity to prove otherwise, some of us were made fun of by stadium security for disabilities and/or injuries, some of us were yelled at for simply not walking fast enough. Some of us had to dodge beer bottles because the police were mysteriously absent. Some of us were ejected due to hearsay, some of us for dribbling our first beer while walking up the steps. Some of us were given bad directions by supposed professions, and all of us had our safety compromised.

      This isn’t about whether they throw out Sounders fans or not, this is about what appears to be a conscious decision by those in charge to engage in behavior unbecoming of professionals and public safety personnel.

  33. LOLLLLLL. Your scaremongering is sickening. Nothing happened. No one even called the cops, let alone arrests or damage to people’s property. Are you just shamelessly trying to get hits by making outrageous headlines by bringing the game into disrepute, or do you actually believe that when opposing fans claim that security guards looked at them funny (NO ONE EVEN GOT KICKED OUT!) it’s news worthy. Pathetic.

    • 17 people were removed then count was lost.

  34. As a parent of one of the Dream Team members for the game, we were assigned to our normal set of bleachers in the NE corner of the stadium, right next to the Timbers section. Upon arriving at the bleachers at about the 10 minute mark, we found three dozen Timbers fans had taken over the area. Working with stadium security and team staff, Timbers fans finally returned to their designated area after arguing and yelling for most of the first half. I then proceeded to watch several Portland fans removed from the stadium by uniformed officers (either SPD or KCS, couldn’t tell) as the game moved through the second half.

    While it seems clear the return route for Timbers fans was not followed, I really can’t side with the Timbers fans on the issue of being concerned that security was provoking them or removing them for no reason. Those who were removed with visibly intoxicated and were a potential harm to themselves and others, and needed to leave.