Garth Lagerway - Seattle Sounders - Intense at Presser
Dan Poss/Seattle Sounders

Seattle Sounders fans set to vote on fate of GM Garth Lagerwey

Editor's note: This article was originally published on Aug. 21, 2018. Seattle's GM vote opened on Sept. 19.

Seattle Sounders FC general manager Garth Lagerwey will soon be on the hot seat, not that he’s unfamiliar with that spot.

The club announced Tuesday the voting process for the second-ever General Manager Vote is preparing to launch.

In conjunction with the Alliance Council, the ability to vote to retain the GM is an important part of the club’s culture, with its origins stemming back to the launch in 2008.

As a condition of joining the Sounders ownership group, Drew Carey championed the concept of Democracy in Sports — a model the team adopted as one of its core principles.

“This is really like a failsafe system for when things are going badly,” Carey said in a statement in August. “It’s to keep the fans from divorcing the team and to quit participating with the team. It's better than writing a letter to the editor, it's better than to quit buying tickets, it's better than complaining on a message board.”

Alliance Members, consisting of all 2018 Sounders FC season ticket members and their seat designees, suite holders, and half-season package holders and their seat designees, are eligible to vote.

The voting begins Sept. 19 at 1 pm ET and ends Oct. 17 at 8 pm ET. Eligible votes can cast their ballot at Sounders home games on Sept. 19, 28 and Oct. 8 or at SoundersFC.com/GMVote.

For the GM Vote to be valid, 40 percent of eligible Alliance Members must vote. Action in the GM Vote can only be taken by the super-majority of no less than 67 percent. The vote is weighted, meaning a fan with four season tickets then has four votes to cast in the GM Vote.

Results will be announced in November at the Alliance Annual Business Meeting.

In 2012, the club held its first-ever GM Vote, with owner and then-general manager Adrian Hanauer retained with a 96.3 percent approval rating and 13,775 votes cast by Alliance members. Lagerwey was hired prior to the 2015 season, marking 2018 as his fourth full season as GM and providing an opportunity for fans to vote on his retention.