The definition of a true fan lies with dedication to a team, regardless of whatever level the team plays. Yet, sadly, some do walk away from their teams. Whenever we look at the anatomy of a fan, we must acknowledge differing levels of fandom. Some go for entertainment value, but slide away when the team underperforms. Others come no matter the product on the field because they are dedicated their team in the ups-and-downs, like any committed relationship. Some cannot come due to distance and finances, but by the merchandise and never miss a game on Altitude or Mile High Sports Radio.
What would make some walk away, though--even the most hard core fans?
- Ownership/Front Office Operations: Everything rises and falls on leadership. For a long while, I was a Florida Marlins fan, but after living near Cincinnati and going to a few games, coupled with the troublesome ownership antics of Jeffrey Loria, I gave up and walked away. With all the frustration with 2014, folks expressed their frustration in various ways. But a long, sustained incompetence in fielding a solid team would lose fans.
- Deterioration of the fan experience. Raising ticket prices unreasonably, expensive food, and a lack of family-friendly fan experiences to show appreciation for said fans would do it for many; especially when so many other options exist for soccer fandom (Switchbacks in Colorado Springs, for example).
- "The organization doing something morally reprehensible." One noted on a Rapids discussion page on Facebook that bringing in a player in the Ray Rice category would do it. Not everyone feels this way. Some do not care about what one does in their private life, as long as they help their team win. But I wonder if the majority feel this way? I know I would. That would speak volumes as to what the Colorado Way is. And I'd pass on it.