Seattle, Football and Excel

The economy in the Pacific Northwest is picking up – and we think this is a good time to grow OnPR’s business in Seattle. That’s why my colleague Simon Jones has been in town.

In between our meetings with clients, prospects and investors, I also wanted Simon to enjoy his leisure time in Seattle – which is why, when I heard that our local soccer team, the Seattle Sounders, were hosting a friendly with English football titans Chelsea FC, I knew we had to get tickets.  

Of course, tickets were in high demand (matchday attendance at Century Link Field was a near-capacity 53,000). And since Chelsea are the European champions, online searches showed that all but the “nosebleed” sections were sold out.

After scouring various offerings on the main ticket site, I eventually found myself on the Sounders ticket exchange website – looking at dozens and dozens of pages of random offers for seats, in just about every section.

Problem was, this site only let me sort the myriad offerings by price or by section – but not both. Simply sorting the tickets by price (high to low) did not necessarily yield the best seats. Sure, the $500 seats at the top of the list were prime seats, but also way beyond our budget. Yet as I navigated subsequent pages, I’d occasionally run into decent seats, at far lower prices. Curious….

After about a half hour of frustrated searching – combined with an endless stream of captcha phrases repeatedly thwarting my efforts, the accountant in me had an idea: Excel to the rescue!

Clicking and highlighting the entire array of tickets (literally hundreds and hundreds ), I copied and dropped them into a spreadsheet. Bingo! A few clicks and I had tidy columns for section, row, price and quantity.

Now I was like a bloodhound that had picked up the scent! I sorted by section, then by row, then price. Next, I deleted all sections apart from around the center line and behind the goals. Now to look at the rows and prices. Yep, there were those $500 seats again – but also, what was this? The needle in the haystack: Center section, four rows back, mid-row seats for $77: Barely above face value of the tickets.

Click, purchase, done!

Although the Sounders lost the match, Simon tells me they put up a brave fight to what he said was mostly Chelsea’s reserve team. Nevertheless, it was tremendous fun. Excel to the rescue at my first Sounders game; fantastic seats; a warm Seattle night and a rowdy, enthusiastic crowd made for a truly memorable evening.

Century Link field in Seattle



Dave Wilson OnPR

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