OK, so the traveling Orlando City fans in E10 outnumbered and out-sang the Battery fans in the club’s new E1 Supporters Section last Saturday. That’s going to happen with Orlando, a team that’s moving up to MLS on a resume that’s based largely on its remarkably passionate and organized fan culture.
The good news out of last weekend’s supporters’ section battle was that the mix of Charleston fans in E1 was louder, more prolific — and, quite frankly, younger — than it has been in the past. And this is no accident.
Improving the experience in the Supporters Section is going to be an emphasis this season for the club, the supporters groups, and this website. Yes, we’d all like to see sold-out matches become a weekly occurrence, but the way we’re going to achieve that goal is by recruiting more fans who want to stand and sing, people who want to beat on drums and play musical instruments, wave flags, make banners.
In short, Battery backers who are ready to become part of an evolving scene on game day. Not just fans. Supporters. Because engaged and clever supporters are a big part of the game-day enjoyment for everyone else. They set the tone.
This Saturday the opponent is Richmond, the Battery’s oldest and most storied rivalry. The club is actively pursuing new fans to stand in the Supporters Section, recruiting via College of Charleston intramural games and entertaining various ideas for packing the section with new faces. It’s been courting local fan groups of “TV clubs” since January, too, and had great success with a promotion in February that offered a Carolina Challenge Cup discount for members of American Outlaws.
Here at CHS Soccer, we think building the team’s fan base from this angle is a great idea. And to help out, we’ll be giving away two tickets to Saturday night’s game.
Here’s what we want in exchange:
Write us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org…
Tell us who you plan on bringing to the match with the two tickets…
Use the tickets (seats are located in the West Stands) to get in the park, but promise to spend the match in the Supporters Section (unless, of course, it’s so crowded there’s no room for you there).
I’ll announce the winner as soon as I’ve got one. If it’s you, come find me at the Regiment Tailgate before the match to get your free tickets.
Plus, if you bring people out to the match, please flag me down so I can take pictures. Everyone who helps fill the stadium against Richmond is part of the story.
Getting people into the section is only part of the challenge. Getting everyone on the same page when it comes to chanting, singing, and demonstrations is another. But let’s not put the cart before the horse.
See you Saturday night!