Colorado Rapids' supporters rip owners

The Colorado Rapids are mired in last place in the MLS standings, struggling through what is shaping up to be their worst season in their history.

The Rapids, MLS founding members, are last in the overall standings with a record of 3-13-10, They have suffered shutout losses in their last three games and scored in only one of their last 10 MLS teams, leaving them with only 16 goals scored in 26 games.

After their last match, a 2-0 loss to derby rival Real Salt Lake, the Rapids parted ways with veteran coach Robin Fraser.

On Thursday, the supporters group Centennial 38 published a open letter to the Rapids.

Centennial 38 said the 2023 season is the "worst year we have experienced as supporters in our Colorado Rapids history," surpassing other bad years in many ways. "The shortcomings go far beyond results on the field and extend to the facilities and infrastructure of the organization. It is a culmination of years of underfunding and limited resources."

Centennial 38 was critical of Rapids president Padraig Smith but said the "common denominator of the Rapids’ many problems is Kroenke Sports & Entertainment."

Referring to Smith’s press conference after Fraser's firing, Centennial 38 said "Padraig was quite careful to avoid any questions focused on investment in the team and facilities, or engagement from ownership. It was apparent from what Padraig didn’t say, that the quiet part was quite loud, that ownership is not going to meaningfully invest time, effort, or finances into our Colorado Rapids."

Centennial 38 wasn't just referring to the on-field product, noting that Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, opened in 2007, "has been neglected, and without proper maintenance and periodic upgrades has become tired and run-down."

Centennial 38 states that the Rapids and their fanbase are nothing more than an after-thought of Kroenke Sports & Entertainment -- which also owns Arsenal, the NFL's Los Angeles Rams and NBA champion Denver Nuggets, among other teams -- and its demands aren't outrageous:

"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."

Kroenke Sports and Entertainment's vice chairman Josh Kroenke responded that the Rapids are undertaking feasibility studies about Dick’s Sporting Goods Park -- the stadium and accompanying practice fields -- and hoping to return "the team to the level of competitiveness we expect and have seen in recent years.” (In 2021, the Rapids were first in the Western Conference regular-season standings under Fraser.)

Rapids huddle: Jeremy Olson/ISI Photos

2 comments about "Colorado Rapids' supporters rip owners".
  1. R2 Dad, September 16, 2023 at 9:47 a.m.

    This is the business model USSF signed up for 25 years ago. This franchise might just suck for 10-20 years and these fans are just collateral damage. Who knew letting the Marge Schott's of the sports world run the show would have downsides?

  2. humble 1 replied, September 18, 2023 at 11:19 a.m.

    so true what you write.  While Messi Mania abounds - quietly - the structural flaw in the MLS foundation - that will prevent it from ever being world class league - remains.  One word.  Mediocrity.  Backed in.  

Next story loading loading..

Discover Our Publications