The Daily Wave: Riding The Colorado Rapids Front Office Roller Coaster

Doug Pensinger

Is any other front office in MLS as maddeningly inconsistent as the folks running the show in Colorado? We explore the recent ups and downs of a team trying to put it together on and off the field.

The Daily Wave is a slice of opinion from a Burgundy Wave contributor, released every weekday morning.

In today's MLS, there are teams that are run very well (some might point to Seattle or the Los Angeles Galaxy) and there are teams whose operations are absolute train wrecks (we're looking at you, Chivas USA). But here in Colorado, we have a special kind of front office: one that is equal parts well thought out ideas and total brain farts. The past few weeks have been a microcosm of this inconsistency. So let's do a quick run down of some of the recent highlights and low-lights for the Rapids front office that make supporting this team a roller coaster ride of emotions.

Great Idea! - Giving C38 Control Of Tickets To The Supporter's Terrace And Section 108

Back in February, it was announced that Centennial 38, the new combined Rapids Supporters Group, would be responsible for selling tickets in the Supporter's Terrace and Section 108 at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. My understanding of the arrangement is that C38 purchased the tickets from the Rapids at a reduced price, and will now sell the tickets to the general public while keeping any profit they get from selling the tickets. As a result, C38 gets a revenue stream to help the organization with tailgates and other events that build fan culture, while also (hopefully) packing these two sections full of die hard and vocal Rapids fans and thereby improving the stadium atmosphere. Sounds like the definition of win-win to me.

Ummmm, What? - Postponing Saturday's Game After Using Social Media To Brag About How The Game Wouldn't Be Postponed

Let me be clear: this is not a complaint that the Rapids elected to postpone the game. They had the safety of their fans in mind and that is okay by me. What I do have a problem with is how silly it was for them to go on social media (check their Facebook and Twitter account) in the days leading up to the game to brag about how tough Colorado is and how a little snow wouldn't stop us from playing. The front office had to have known that there was a chance the road conditions would be such that the game would need to be postponed for fan safety. Instead, they ignored common sense and ended up with a PR black eye when the game ultimately did need to be postponed.

Great Idea! - Opening The Cantina Early On Sunday So Tailgaters Could Watch The EPL

When the game was moved from 4 pm on Saturday to 1 pm Sunday, the front office did a good job of recognizing an opportunity to make the tailgating experience more fun. The Cantina, the bar located at the South end of the stadium, was opened at 10 am so that the people enjoying pre-game festivities could watch some of the Manchester United-Chelsea FA Cup match. Improving the tailgating experience is part of what will improve the fan base and make Rapids game day a "can't miss" event.

Ummmm, What? - Not Replacing Conor Casey Banners Around DSG Park Prior To The Home Opener

On Sunday, Chris Bianchi passed along this photo via his Twitter account:

In my mind, this is totally bush league and inexcusable. The team played an active role in moving Casey this off season, yet they can't remember to remove banners bearing his likeliness from around the home stadium? They had, like, four months to take care of this! And please don't try and tell me these banners were left up as some kind of tribute to Casey upon his first visit back to Colorado (which ultimately didn't end up happening anyway). Ugh.

Great Idea! - Hiring New Play-By-Play Announcer Richard Fleming

As I mentioned in my previous post, the hiring of Richard Fleming to do play-by-play for TV broadcasts looks like a really solid move by the Rapids. The front office appears to have recognized that the TV experience was suffering as a result of trying to use someone with no soccer background to lead viewers through the game. The Rapids deserve credit for bringing Fleming in and for footing the bill.

Ummmm, What? - Altitude's Starting Line-Up Graphic

As we already mentioned here at Burgundy Wave, the graphic used by Altitude Sports for Sunday's starting line up was a bit.... puzzling. Reserve goal keepers playing center back and right mid?? Cascio in defense?? Sure, why not?!?! I wouldn't normally hang this on the Rapids front office, but in the past 24 hours, both Tim Hinchey and David Lindholm have apologized for the gaffe over Twitter. Why would the Rapids' President and head PR man each issue an apology rather than someone more directly affiliated with Altitude Sports? The only conclusion I can reach is that the front office did somehow have a hand in this embarrassing (and totally hilarious) mistake.

At this point, all we as Rapids Supporters can do is strap on our seat belts, enjoy the ride, and hope that the three corn dogs we just scarfed down don't come back up the way they went in. Maybe in time, the front office will start providing us with more highs than lows.

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