Rapids' Three Fan Groups Merge Into One; Garber Hails Move As Beneficial
MLS Rapids supporters groups Pid Army, Class VI and Bulldog Supporters Group have decided to consolidate into "one united Rapids supporters group called Centennial 38," giving the team "a unified group of about 1,000 ardent supporters" for its home opener Saturday versus the Union, according to Eric Gorski of the DENVER POST. The club's front office is "behind the effort." MLS Commissioner Don Garber this week said that the united group is "an important step toward improving the experience of attending a game." The three previously separate groups have varying backgrounds. Pid Army is a "band of ruffians with a spray-painted van who lead chants from the standing-only section behind the north goal known as the Terrace; Class VI, with fans who tend to be a bit older, may have kids, and prefer the seats and better sight lines of Section 108; and the Bulldog Supporters Group, another Terrace-based group that grew out of the downtown soccer pub The British Bulldog." Bulldog Supporters Group President Dave Wegner said that when leaders of the three groups "brought the idea of uniting to members, the response was overwhelmingly positive." Members were "given a choice: blow up all three groups and form one unified group or form an umbrella group that would oversee all three, allowing them to maintain their identities." Wegner said that members "voted 3-1 to start anew." He added that the Rapids' front office "supported the move, but the move was the supporters’ alone." MLS teams with "flourishing fan cultures -- Seattle and Portland top the list -- have downtown stadiums that make it easier to draw the Gen Y fans MLS desires." But Garber "singled out the benefits of the Rapids complex in Commerce City" (DENVERPOST.com, 3/7).