Colorado Rapids fans sound off as turbulent 2023 season rolls on

After years of frustration, Colorado Rapids fans have reached a boiling point.

Over the last two weeks, supporters have heard from club president Pádraig Smith and executive Josh Kroenke as the team has spiraled down the drain, leading to the firing of head coach Robing Fraser on Sept. 6.

Smith addressed the exit of his hand-picked coach and the state of the club, while Kroenke issued a statement that talked more about real estate than it did results. The latter came on the heels of a scathing letter from Centennial 38, the largest independent supporters group of the team, calling leadership to task for the current state of the Rapids.

In the wake of these developments, we’re giving Rapids readers their say. Here’s some of the emails The Post has received since the statement. One thing is abundantly clear: Many have had enough.

“I am sick of the continuing excuses for a poor product on the field and being told to be patient as ‘we are rebuilding’. I am sick of the complete lack of attention to the gameday experience, from things like a cantina that can’t show the game on the TV’s to our boring and bland stadium. I’m sick of going to cities such as Austin, Cincinnati, Columbus, Los Angeles, Nashville, Orlando, Portland and St. Louis and seeing how their teams have left us behind in all areas with decent soccer specific stadiums located downtown … But most of all, I am sick of knowing that our ownership group, KSE, could do a lot to fix all this by putting a modern, downtown, soccer stadium in their Ball Arena / Elitch Gardens redevelopment plans but chooses not to.” — Richard Bamber, Denver, season ticket member since 2010.

“I believe the (front office) should pay attention to these protests. At least we are still fighting for our team at the moment, their complacency will only drive away fans from this team. Colorado deserves to have a competitive winning team, anything short of that is unacceptable.” — Alysia Estrada, Boulder, fan since 2012.

“I generally think that the state of the Rapids is not as bad as the old-timers who’ve been here for a long time make it out to be. … (While) I do agree with C38 and other fans that KSE can invest more, I would like to see what the fans want that investment to be. Being specific is the only way that you can have a true dialogue to seek the change that you want. Asking for somebody to invest into something without giving specifics of what you would want them to invest in isn’t going to go anywhere.” — John “Bray” Vandel, Denver, fan since 2020.

“I have been supporting the team since day one. I have had season tickets either personally or through my employment since 2005 … After the (Smith) press conference, then, (Kroenke’s) follow-up letter, I don’t plan on renewing. The whole thing makes me sick to my stomach.” — Warren Edson, Denver, an original.

“… It seems like ownership is really banking on the ‘Messi effect’ to benefit the team. And by team, I mean more money in the owners’ pocket (because) Messi will generate more money for the league overall, and (because) of that they don’t feel the need to invest back into the team/facilities.” -Nathan Fujimoto, Denver, 2024 STM.

“After having season tickets for 11 years, I finally decided that the 2023 season would be my last as a season ticket holder. … The Rapids were a big part of my life and schedule for a long time. Even though my passion for soccer hasn’t subsided, my interest in the Rapids certainly has. The Rapids are still stuck in MLS 2.0, and are seemingly behind every wave/trend.” — David Formisano, Denver, STM since 2012.

“(I) thought the response from the Rapids was empty and felt as if (the team was) simply saying nothing will change but we should support their real estate endeavors.” — Doug Mellon, Estes Park, C38 member.

“Based on the evidence, I think the sporting department knows what they’re doing. But do they actually have the resources they need to achieve the roster they really want? Or are they forced to do bargain hunting at every single stage of the roster build?” Ben Bellman, Greeley, fan since 2010.

“… I live in Colorado Springs and the Switchbacks have a much better stadium and experience (no one has a better tailgate than C38 though!). I’m a 12-minute bike ride from that stadium and a 70-minute drive from Dick’s. I’ve got two kids now and it doesn’t seem worth it to drive that far to see them lose when the Switchbacks are competitive in USL and have a better experience.” — Matthew Cleveland, Colorado Springs, STM since 2014.

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