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Seattle Sounders owner Drew Carey: You have to care about the fans

Seattle Sounders co-owner, comedian Drew Carey, believes there needs to be a good balance between making fans happy and making money when running a sporting team.

The star of 'The Drew Carey Show' says that the fans have to be looked after to make sure a club or franchise is successful off the pitch and believes that winning matches is almost more important than making money.

In an interview with the Sports Business Journal, Carey touched on various matters including the difference between teams being run by accountants and teams run by owners who love the game.

"The Detroit Lions (NFL) make money. They're a very successful franchise if you go by the money they make, but they seem to put out a team and a product and treat the whole experience like they don't really give a s*** about football. It's a business they happened to find that they can make money on," Carey said.

He also touched on how Seattle's system of fan-ownership works: "We charge $125 a year for members," he added.

"The owners get to choose [the general manager] but they have to please the fans, and the fans can fire him if they don't like him. All the fans need every four years is 50 percent plus one to get rid of the guy. If they want to have a vote in the off years, all they have to do is get 20 percent of the members to sign a petition."

Carey added further that the reason he bought into a sporting franchise like the Sounders was clearly not to make money.

"As far as a living-and-dying-with-the-team and I'm-not-going-to-put-my-name-on-that attitude, that kind of attitude is super prevalent over at the Sounders," Carey said.

"(Co-owners) Joe Roth, me, Adrian Hanauer, Vulcan Group, we've all got plenty of dough. We're only in it to win and to put out a good product. Nobody buys an MLS franchise thinking, 'Oh, I'm going to make so much money.'"

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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