Move to BC Place? Time to support Whitecaps supporter’s groupsSeptember 4, 2011 at 11:18 pm | Posted in Whitecaps Season 2011 | 1 Comment
While I am hoping for the best, I am fearing the transition from Empire Field to B.C. Place. If history repeats itself, BC Place will be like a mausoleum compared to the intimate and rocking Empire. The closeness of the field to the stands and the steepness of the stands makes for a cauldron effect at Empire which is perfect for the game of football. I fear the pitch will be further away at BC Place, which is built as more of a bowl. We will no longer have those great aluminum seats to stamp on, which creates a wonderful rolling thunder effect. Try stamping your feet on concrete!
One way to improve the atmosphere on match days in BC Place would be for the Vancouver Whitecaps to give support and work with the Whitecaps supporters groups. Lets face it, both the visual and aural performance of the Whitecaps supporters groups are disappointing so far compared to those in Portland and Seattle, not to mention other MLS supporters groups. It is not only in the points standings that we are finishing a disappointing third in Cascadia. While supporters groups have managed to popularize a few chants, Whitecaps supporters have so far proven to be like cats who refuse to be herded. Make no mistake, the general atmosphere at Empire has been great, but organized supporters groups are not creating the display we had hoped for.
The fact is Whitecaps supporters groups were always less organized than the Timbers and Sounders fan groups even back in the USL-1 days. Why this is so is a bit of a mystery, but perhaps it has something to do with Vancouver’s slacker culture, which is suspicious of leadership, organization, or joining almost anything.
Whatever their flaws, supporters groups need support from the club if we are to catch up with Portland, Seattle and other MLS teams in match atmosphere and football culture.
What we don’t want is the false crowd prompting which makes going to Canucks games so obnoxious. The fans in a football ground must make their own noise, which is part of football culture. Piping in fake chants over the loudspeakers like the Canucks does not cut it.
I think the Whitecaps need to hire a new fan display coordinator to help supporters groups to create great visual and aural performance, which has been lacking at Empire this year. It would be nice to hear songs and chants other than “were blue, we’re white, were effin dynamite”, which is the only chant that has really caught on this year (I am sure to the chagrin of the Whitecaps).
The move to BC Place is also an opportunity to reintroduce the team’s true song “White is the Colour,” which has been shamefully ignored by the club this season (Carl Valentine and Bob Lenarduzzi, where the hell are you on this issue?).
The move to BC Place should be the opportunity to improve football culture and the fan experience. Having seen the displays in Seattle and Portland, lets be clear: we want that kind of atmosphere at Vancouver Whitecaps matches and it is time the Whitecaps got serious about making it happen.