The Colorado Rapids’ largest independent supporters group did not mince words with an open letter Thursday. Hours later, neither did the vice chairman of Kroenke Sports and Entertainment, Josh Kroenke.
In the open latter, Centennial 38 called the 2023 season “the worst year we have experienced as supporters in our Colorado Rapids history.” It called out KSE’s lack of investment in training facilities and stadium upgrades, as well as increasing ticket prices for an on-field product that has not delivered. Colorado is on track to have its worst season in team history: The Rapids sit at the bottom of the 29-team Major League Soccer standings at 3-13-10, 19 points and just 16 league goals all season.
The badge, the players, and the fans deserve better.#Rapids96 pic.twitter.com/DtCbm4Syz7
— Centennial 38 (@C38sg) September 14, 2023
The letter demanded that ownership step up and put proper financial resources into the Burgundy Boys. Colorado has one of the lowest payrolls in MLS at $11,705,180 — 26th out of 29 teams, according to 2023 MLS Players Association Salary Guide data.
“We are not demanding a team that wins MLS Cup every year. We are not demanding record sums spent on players. We are not demanding signing a Lionel Messi. What we are demanding is a team that is competently run, has a genuine connection with the fans and community, provides an enjoyable stadium experience, and strives to be relevant in the local Colorado sports market.
“This indifference from ownership must stop. We can no longer be silent like our owner, and it is long past the time to say so. We await a response from KSE acknowledging our frustrations. The badge, the players, and the fans deserve better.”
In response, Kroenke, on behalf of KSE and the Rapids, put out a statement at 1 p.m. confirming that the long-awaited Victory Crossing Project master plan will be finalized over the next few months. Additionally, feasibility studies are ongoing with numerous businesses to assess the state of Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. He also acknowledged one of the main goals for 2024 and beyond: “returning the team to the level of competitiveness we expect and have seen in recent years.”
“We respect our supporters and are grateful for the passion they demonstrate for the Club, while also acknowledging and understanding their frustrations,” the statement read. “We are committed to the Rapids’ long-term success within the core principles of the club and to being a club that our fans and all Coloradans can be proud of.”
— Colorado Rapids (@ColoradoRapids) September 14, 2023
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Source:: The Denver Post – Sports