For 2 years, my cousin H and I have been diehard supporters of the San Jose Earthquakes since they returned to the MLS. We cheered and drummed in Section 108 - to increase the energy in a stadium that is really lacking in enthusiasm. We understand that "soccer" is not a big spectator sport here in the U.S. and that the Q's are trying to build a fan base.
So fast forward to the beginning of this season. I show up to a pre-season game at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco (Q's vs Houston). I am told that I cannot bring my drum into the stadium (not just Kezar, but also Buck Shaw - where the Q's play their regular season games in Santa Clara) because it is MLS policy. I said then why have I been able to bring the drum in for the last 2 seasons without knowing this or being informed of this policy? Why did the Q's website at that time list "drums" as an approved stadium item?
In order for us to bring the drums we were told we had to enter the stadium one hour early and come in with the "official" supporters groups (The Casbah and the Ultras). We hesitated at first, but then decided to try it. We came early and continued to cheer as we had in the past. Heck - at the last game a father came up to us to ask if his young son could play the drum and we said of course. The dad really appreciated us helping his son really enjoy the game.
Then this week, we are informed that the drum policy has changed again - only 4 drums total are going to be allowed in the stadium and only in Section 109 (where the Casbah and the Ultras sit). H and I sit in Sec 108 right next to them. The Q's rep said that maybe we could talk to the Ultras, since they do not like drums, that maybe we could bring our drums as part of the 4-drum quota. The thing we would have to do is sit in Sec 109 instead. H said, 'Why would we want to take our drums and sit in a section where we know the people dislike drums with a passion?
So after a month of this back and forth, with policies being unclear and changing all of the time, we felt that the performance of the Q's organization has been poor. I think they are as confused about this issue as are the fans.
I love football (soccer), but not enough to endure this frustration with the Q's. The only alternative we had left was to decide to stop going to games. I turned in the remaining tickets in our season ticket packet this morning and received a refund. I know that the Q's organization won't miss us. I will miss the players and all of the friends we have made over the past couple of seasons in Sec 108.
This morning I posted the link to my blog on the Q's Facebook fan page and it was promptly removed (I guess by someone in the Q's organization). They can try to hide their errors, but that will do little good. Cow manure is.......cow manure (no matter how many pretty bows and flowers you cover it with).
Does anyone have the # for the ticket office for the FC Gold Pride?