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To Rapids Fans: Is the Way to Protest to Stay Away?

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Many Rapid fans say, "If you don't like the direction the team is going, then quit giving them money?" Is that really the answer?

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

"If you don't like the way the Rapids are running things, then don't give them your money!"  I cannot tell you how many times I've heard folks say that to me and other Rapids fans who lament the current form of play and the perceived direction the Rapids are going.  Yes, I'm a season ticket holder, firmly ensconced in Section 121 of the South Stands with some of my children, watching intently our Rapids through thick and through thin.  We cheer, we boo the refs (not the players--more on that later), we live and die with every cross and every corner.  We wear our Rapids' gear (thank you, Ross Dress for Less, for providing top notch Rapids gear at low, low, 70-90% off low prices), complete with hats, scarves, jackets, and (when necessary) blankets.

We're all in, through thick and thin.
Through highs and lows, to the Park we go!

So, is the answer to quit spending money on the Rapids?  Will this really help the situation?  Let's play that scenario out.

  1. Suppose all the season ticket holders and regular attenders decided to quit coming to the games. That's around 10,000 people not paying (and, yes, that number may be large).  This will catch the attention of all parties involved.  This protest will speak volumes, until...
  2. Obviously, we have less fans in the seats. Wow, that will speak volumes not only to the front office and ownership, but to MLS.
  3. We will have less revenue come in to help bring in players to improve the team.  Yes, players are paid. And all of us want quality players on the roster (remember the excitement of Luis Solignac and Kevin Doyle coming on board?), and that will cost money to make happen.  But where will the money come from?  "Well, Kroenke Sports Entertainment."  No it's won't come from there, because..
  4. KSE will be less likely to support a floundering team that has no fans and, thus, no revenue.  Much ink has been spilled about the frugality of the Rapids ownership and front office. Sure, some clubs tie up all their salaries into one or two class players--but the Rapids aren't that type of club.  They've opened the pursestrings more, for sure, especially now that TransAmerica is on-board as a sponsor, bringing in great revenue.  But, if fans aren't in the seats, then...
  5. We will lose sponsors--and thus lose more revenue. Sponsors want exposure--but with fans staying home, no exposure comes, and sponsors will move elsewhere.  
  6. We will then lose the Colorado Rapids. "What?  Why you going all doomsday on us?"  Because it's possible, if you take the logical route of staying home and not spending money.  And friends, let me tell you, there's a difference between having a team that's in bad form but has some hope of improvement, than to have no team at all.
But you may also say, "Why invest in a team that is going in a bad direction?  You could still spend your money, but nothing could change."  I'm saying, if we don't support our team and support our players who want to win worse than we do, then we'll have a team that's going in no direction because there'll be no team to cheer or boo or be frustrated with.  My friendships and relationships are not based on the waves of the sea (I'm with you when it's good, ditching you when it's bad), and neither should our allegiance to our sports teams.

Spending money on a team that struggles does not always equal endorsement of everything they do. As a pastor of a church, I know that churches do not always get it right, but I'm committed to the ultimate purpose of the gospel of Christ all the while, just like our resident Rabbi is committed to his convictions as well, in ups and downs. I'm not just in when it's good and out when things get rough!

So pulling back a bit, maybe!  Going cold turkey? That won't be of help to anyone--and in fact, may be detrimental in the long run.