My love affair with the Colorado Rapids, which began with a bit of dating and some batting of eyelashes shortly after we moved to Denver in 2012, truly blossomed last year into a full-blown romance, despite the club's lack of success. And with love and romance comes… commitment.
Now that the schedule is out, and I can plan what games I can make it to, and against all logic and reason, I’ve decided to take my relationship to the next level with the Rapids and buy a season ticket package. Five games, plus I’ll go to Jewish Community night (duh!) and all the Open Cups. And whatever else my wife lets me. So now the question is: where do I sit?
Here are my thoughts on each option, with some thoughtful input from the Rapids twitteratti. (Thanks all!)
From a practical standpoint, the West Stand is where it’s at. The sun won’t ever be in your eyes, the awning protects from the rain, and the food and merch are close at hand. I’ve always had an aversion, though, to higher priced seats at any sporting venue. For one thing, I was afraid that the more expensive seats are a touch too bourgeois for me- that fans are too busy discussing their yachts or the new condo in Aspen rather than the merits of the diamond midfield. West Sideline season seats are $42, though; just $7 bucks more a seat than the East Sideline. So this is probably not the front-line-of-the-class-warfare/we-are-the-99% debate that I imagine it to be.
The other important thing for me is the vibe: how loud is the crowd? How many people are standing versus sitting? The times I’ve sat on the West side, I found the fans to be a bit… adrift. Some clearly knew the game, but most seemed blissfully disengaged. Standing was infrequent. Centennial 38 was far away and hard to hear. So I give the West side a solid maybe.
I have a really hard time following the game from this angle. Maybe my brain has become too accustomed to the way television presents all sports- running left to right. @Protectyournet pointed out how great it is to be seeing the worldview of the goalkeeper. If that’s your thing, cool.
There’s no awning, but still there are a lot of people here. This seems to me to be the ‘Ministry of Absorption’ for DSGP. Lot of first timers, youth soccer teams, families looking for cheaper seats. They aren’t particularly loud for anything. One game I went to, the local girls soccer club had like 500 seats and spent the game chanting THEIR OWN TEAM NAME. C’mon, really? For that fact alone, I’d rather not sit here.
7-11’s ‘The Corner’ seats
For your money, this is a great deal, as long as you go into knowing that your view of the field isn’t very good. (Note: I have no idea if they'll offer these seats next year: like a lot of things with the 2015 Rapids, we're waiting to be enlightened).
I tried to buy tickets here last year. I went to three different 7-11’s to get tickets, and none of them had ever heard of the promotion, nor did they know which 7-11’s participated in it. The Rapids and 7-11 websites didn’t tell you. I’d love a $15 ticket, but it shouldn’t require a network of spies and multiple reconnaissance missions to buy a damn soccer ticket. The sections always full though, so there’s that.
The East Stand has been my go-to spot. Awning, food, a great field view, and usually engaged and knowledgeable fans. @jpatrickrosch said he’s had season seats here most years, and advised that he liked every section except 108, because he "got beer spilled on him 3 times". I want that noise and energy that 108 provides, without the beer shower. And you can be dead-center of midfield without the VIP premium price.
The only drawback is sitting in the sun on a hot afternoon, but this year we have mostly evening matches. I think this is the best place to sit.
C38 North Stand
As @comradem and @protectyournet said when I asked where they sit: "We don’t sit." This is the place for the passionate fan; the fan whose life is merely the numbing daily grind that provides the greenbacks for the beer at the tailgate and a burgundy-blue ticket to 90 minutes of paradise. Or agony. Probably both.
In my heart, I want to be there. But my kids are 4 and 2 years old, respectively, so between the standing, the swearing, and the beering, we’re not quite there yet. I'll be the one to teach my son the f-word when I hit my thumb with a hammer, not @uzworm singing the 'Steve Gerrard' song. Just know that us sorry married guys are shooting a look of envy at the folks in C38 screaming their lungs out and waving the flags every match.
I’m sure I’ve overlooked something important in the complex equation that is selecting one’s tickets, so please provide some input below. But hurry up. Payday is coming soon and I want a good seat.