- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On July 30, 2008
- 6 Comments
- Stadium Issues
Maybe this is why the stands at Dicks Sporting Goods Park always seem empty.
I try not to get too involved in some of these fan issues with stadiums but after reading this email that was sent to the Sideline Views, I thought it needed to be discussed.
Apparently there are some big issues going on in stadiums around the league in regards to security. Each stadium’s security acts different than the other but one thing seems clear they all sound like they don’t know what they are doing. Either they are too anal about the streamer issue or in this case they go crazy and pretty much give fans a reason to never come back (which has to change ASAP!).
One thing is clear, the clubs need to step in and get something changed.
Read this email below and tell me what you think. If I were in these fan’s shoes I would not be happy, especially if I were a season ticket holder. I know the section they sit in did something wrong (lit a smoke bomb) but for the security in the stadium to go nuts on the entire section for it just seems bad.
Things like this are going to put people off from attending games, and much worse enjoying soccer in person or on TV. Stadiums should present a safe and fun atmosphere and not one that makes you wonder why you forked over some hard earned money. Treating fans this poorly should be reviewed by the league to get it fixed. You better believe the league doesn’t want to lose their core group of fans from attending games because of pathetic stadium security and security that doesn’t do their job correctly.
Here is the email…I want to hear what your reaction is to this and if you have had any similar encounters like this one.
“I’m sure it was noticeable that there was basically no noise in the stadium…not that our tiny supporters section makes it some kind of kop or anything, but something is better than nothing.
“In any case I’m sure everyone is aware of the new rules the league handed down regarding streamers…and the video taping of supporters groups.
“I want it to be known that we have had huge problems with stadium security and from our own front office. It really is a long and complicated problem, but I’ll do my best to give you all the gist of it.
“Security essentially interprets the rules differently on a game-to-game basis, and as a result they can essentially throw you out for anything. I was personally threatened ejection one game for questioning whether they had enforced the rules properly (I used no profanities or threats), and the security guy saw fit to call over the police and have me forcibly removed from the building. Any excuse to throw any of us out, they’ll take it.
“While we continue to have these problems, the Rapids Front Office stands idly by and does absolutely nothing. This is not like the problems in New York where the clubs hands are tied and they have little or no control over security…KSE (the Rapids ownership) has full control of the facility and can run it as they see fit, including the conduct of the stadium security. When it comes down to it, they really don’t care about the supporters, I’d even go so far as to say they don’t want us at all. This is the same front office that has told us that we are “replaceable” and that we make sections of the stadium “un-sellable”.
“So here is what happened in Sunday…we were trying out best to do our thing (drums, streamers, etc). A smoke bomb was lit in our section (and was shown on both the jumbo screen and the TV broadcast), this naturally alerted security. I do realize that smoke bombs are not allowed and why they don’t allow them (funny that the Rapids use it in all their marketing though, pretending that they support some great fanbase). I did not light it, and I did not see who lit it.
“You’d think security would find the perpetrator with their alleged CCTV and throw him out, nope. Instead they came down and basically started throwing everybody out. I didn’t matter if we asked why or for what reason, or if we could see these “tapes”, they just basically booted anybody that made eye contact. However have heard that the whole thing about cameras is a bunch of crap, and that they’re not taping us at all.
In disgust the entire section pretty much walked out. By the final whistle there were 5 people left in the section. To my knowledge security threw out several people, not least a 13 year old kid who was looking for his parents. Two season ticket holders were also banned, and I’m sure several non-season ticket holders were also banned.
“This is just an example of the kind of crap that happens every single home game. We try our best to bring atmosphere into that stadium, and we try to do the same things other groups around the league have been doing. You’d think with the new stadium and everything, our supporters group would grow. It hasn’t. We have actually shrunk in size, we have fewer people at each game. We can’t recruit new people because they get booted for nothing. It really is getting to the point where there may not even be a supporters section at all next year. This is quickly flying out of control (as if it already hasn’t). They are killing the supporters. Its at the point where we may have to completely start over (again).
“I’ll admit we have the smallest, and possibly worst, supporters section in the league, its not like this is news to anybody else. Its not like we don’t try to make it better. We try our best to make it better and nothing comes of it. I’m not writing this to whine and complain, or to look for sympathy. I want some advice. I want to save the section.
“What have other groups done to try and improve things? We sure wont get any support from the front office, they don’t care. We’ve met with them frequently and they tell us they’ll make changes…and it never happens. Does anybody have any advice on how we can handle this. We’re frankly running out of ideas.”
Thanks again to the Luis Bueno over at the Sideline Views for posting this for us all today.