Class VI, thanks for your dedication. Pid Army, it was nice to meet you. Bulldog Supporters Group, it's been a pleasure. The three largest supporters of the Colorado Rapids are no more.
However that's not the last, or best, we've seen of the individuals that have long lent their voices, time, and pocket books to support the team. Starting in 2013, the three fan groups will be one: the Centennial 38 Supporters Group.
"We just wanted to bring everyone together, in the Terraces, at the tailgate, at the viewing parties - we didn't want the divisions among Rapids fans anymore," new C38 board member Mike Templeton told ColoradoRapids.com. "In the process we realized that each group was duplicating efforts, holding us back from growing the supporters culture by being able to expand on other ideas. This allows us to expand and grow."
For the past several seasons the three supporters groups had taken up three locations in the stands at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. The Pid Army occupied the west side of the Supporter Terrace, while the Bulldog Supporters resided on the east side. Class VI members took root in section 108.
Over the offseason the leaders of the three groups met and decided to remove the figurative boundaries and collectively join in supporting the club as one voice. Or, make it, over 1000 combined. Furthermore, the Terrace will now be one stand as opposed to two sections.
"There is only one group now," Mark Bodmer, former president of Class VI, told ColoradoRapids.com. "However there will be two areas for C38 - the Terraces, of course, where the passion and party happen in full force, and section 108 for the serious fanatics not wanting to stand all game."
The group's name Centennial 38, or C38 SG, is a nod to the state of Colorado, which became the 38th state in the Union in 1876, 100 years after the signing of the nation's Declaration of Independence.
"We really wanted to embrace the full state of Colorado since we have members throughout," added Dave Wenger, another C38 board member. "With all the name submissions we had from our members, the Colorado theme really was a constant, so we definitely wanted something that embraced that."
The leadership of C38 consists of six board members consisting of two members from each of the former groups. The bylaws are still being drawn up, but for starters, the group wants all fans to know that everyone is welcome to join. And joining is free, just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to the mailing list.
The group's website is under construction, but the basics are already live at www.c38sg.com. C38 has also already organized a road trip to Utah to watch the Rapids take on Real Salt Lake in the first of three Subaru Rocky Mountain Cup matches on March 16. Visit www.RMCTrip.com for more information and to reserve a place on the trip. They will also be organizing tailgates prior to all Rapids home matches, starting with the home opener on March 9.
Fans are encouraged to join C38 and stay connected at http://www.facebook.com/Centennial38 and on twitter at @c38sg.