Last night, the Revolution had their annual Season Ticket Holders meeting in Foxboro.
In addition to the presentation of the customer support team (which was its typical boring presentation until a fat red head boasted that a STH perks is the ability to buy Patriots playoffs tickets and he nearly drooled on himself talking about the Denver game and Brady throwing 6 TD. Do I need to be reminded that the Patriots rule the empty cave and are priority #1 of Kraft Sports?), Jonathan Kraft, Jay Heaps, Mike Burns, Brian Bilello, Kevin Allston and Darius Barnes were in attendance and took questions.Actually, Jonathan Kraft had to leave but he made what I felt was a welcome speech. He actually addressed the stadium situation and for the first time I can remember, he actually stated that the Silent Cave was not a great place to see a MLS game. He discussed a Soccer Specific Stadium and for the first, I felt that a deal was worked on and even pretty close to be announced. There is hope on this front in my opinion.
The questions taken were all pretty soft (including the one from the Supporter Group) and Fortgate was never mentioned. Burns hit the Moreno situation head first to his credit. A lot of questions came from kids and were cute to naive (how do I become a Rev player to how to I increase my speed?). Nothing challenging and we are a big happy family.
Two things that became obvious to me:
1) When Billello became president, a lot of people (See the drug is football) could not understand the move after the worse season in team history. Well, Billello told the reason indirectly when he mentions the business side i.e. Sponsorship money was up, limited package sales hit new records and the Revs received an award for STH retention. If I am owing the team and someone does this after two terrible seasons, I would probably kept him too.
2) The Revs are stuck between MLS 1.0 and MLS 2.0. They would like to move away from their reliance on the soccer moms and their relationship with youth soccer because a lot of these customers are not repeat visitors. They want to market to the young adult/ young professional but for known reasons discussed at length on this site, they are not getting much traction. So they are basically stuck. They cannot alienate their youth customers and they cannot get the urban professionals to show up. And they have not figured out how to make both constituency cohabitate. Their marketing is toward MLS 2.0 but their revenues is still MLS 1.0. Billello even admitted that noise and instrument belong only in the Fort and not around the stadium (to my dismay) because he does not want to lose the soccer moms. He does not want to be Seattle because he cannot afford the revenue loss of such a fan base conversion on the short term.
Overall, I enjoyed the meeting and I do not think about the SJ game and the lack of quality in front and the fact that our lone DP is aging and likely to play below his historical level, I feel good about the season. And please, do not ask me that question after the KC game ......