SBD/October 9, 2012/Franchises

Columnist: Chivas USA Alienating Fans As Vergara Set To Assume Sole Ownership

Chivas USA fans are growing uneasy about the direction the team is headed in
MLS Chivas USA fans on Sunday “endured their own personal hell yet again” as the 8-year-old franchise was “stumbling to the conclusion of yet another wretched season,” according to Nick Green of the L.A. DAILY NEWS. Sunday’s crowd of “just over 13,000 fans” for the FC Dallas-Chivas USA game was “still the largest crowd to watch the team since mid-July, not including a visit by vastly more popular crosstown rival the Galaxy.” Chivas USA management has “seemingly alienated virtually every segment of its fan base outside the hundreds of children who increasingly are the dominant demographic group in attendance, presumably on free or heavily discounted tickets.” A “canned statement aside,” Chivas USA officials have said “virtually nothing about the pending purchase of the 50 percent of the franchise" Liga MX club Chivas de Guadalajara Owner Jorge Vergara did not previously own. Many fans are “questioning the very existence in its current form of the worst basket case in MLS (similarly hapless Toronto hasn't been around long enough to earn that title yet) and arguably the most inept in domestic professional sport.” Fans are “not optimistic anything will radically change under the sole ownership of Vergara, especially since he has bigger problems back home with a pretty bad Guadalajara team playing in a brand-new, largely empty suburban stadium.” Many diehards are “holding off renewing their season tickets waiting to see whether Vergara delivers heaven or simply more soccer hell on earth” (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 10/9).
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