Members of the Rebellion and the Midnight Riders - the Fort's finest - will be converging on Foxboro tonight as the New England Revolution hold their annual Supporters' Summit at Gillette Stadium. Fans and representatives from the two groups will get a rare chance to sit in front of Revolution executives and fire off essentially any questions they have, with the ostensible expectation of straight, honest answers.
Whether or not those answers are actually substantive is often a matter of some debate.
Either way, it's an excellent chance for supporters to interface with the executives, and it helps fans get some perspective on things where the whole story might not be readily apparent. In advance of this event, we here at The Bent Musket thought of some burning questions that supporters should ask at tonight's event.
- What's new on the stadium front? - Every year this question gets asked, and every year the brass gives a pretty canned answer. Just because we don't get much out of them, though, doesn't mean we should stop asking. In fact, after the Revere and Somerville news that came out this past Fall, supporters have even more reason to badger management about the progress. On that note...
- Why does stadium news always come out at season-ticket renewal time? - Revs fans have been waiting for years for a soccer-specific stadium, and now a pattern has developed in the timing of the release of information: it always seems to come out when the club is asking for season ticket renewals. Is this by design? I'm sure you won't get a straight answer, but it needs to be asked.
- What are the ramifications of the USL partnership? - There are a bunch of questions inside this broad-topic question. Why Rochester? What will you do beyond the four loan players? What benefits are you expecting? What benefits are you hoping for? This was a big announcement and a good move, so let's hear some more about it from the execs who got it done.
- What specific steps are the Revs continuing to take to catch up with the rest of the league in marketing and business model? - MLS 3.0 is upon us, and while the Revs appear to be waking up, they've got a ways to go. Think of specifics here, things that you would like to see implemented that maybe you've heard from other SGs.
- What's the deal with Hunter Freeman and Chad Barrett? - Last we heard, they'd been tendered offers but nothing was signed. Are the offers still on the table? Have there been discussions? Have the Revs moved on? Mike Burns is notoriously closed-lipped about this stuff, but it's a definite curiosity.
- What are the expectations of Jay Heaps in year 2? - Obviously last year was a step up from 2011, but it was far from a success. It was Jay's first season, so he got some leniency, but what is the club's policy going into 2013? Is Jay under extra pressure?
- Are people who make mistakes like last year's Hispanic Heritage Night fiasco held accountable? - This is something I'm curious about. What happens when people make mistakes like this? A lot of people were offended, but even more people were left with a dim, derisive view of the club in the aftermath. Do heads roll when that happens?
- What more are the Revs doing to fight homophobia on and off the pitch? - This might not be as big an issue as I think it is, but I remember some frustration at last year's Summit about the lack of LGBT initiatives at Revolution events. If I recall, there was a Pride Night last season, but I'm not sure how well it was publicized or if it came off successfully. If this is still a bone of contention for people, I encourage you all to fire away about it.
Any more good ideas? List them out in the comments!