The German Model
I have said it before, but in light of great articles from Soccernet’s Uli Hesse-Lichtenberger, it bears repeating: the Bundesliga, not the Premiership or La Liga, should be MLS’ role model. Uli’s latest article on fan power in Germany has some great examples of why:
Depending on the club, the cheapest Bundesliga ticket for an adult will set you back between 8 and 10 Euros. Those tickets are, of course, for a part of the grounds many younger and non-German fans only know from hearsay, namely the terraces.
Now, it’s important to note that there is by and large only one reason most Bundesliga grounds still have standing areas: because the fans wanted it that way.
With a young and unsettled league, there’s still hope that supporter power can take root in the States. In some places, like DC and Toronto, organized supporters have won a good deal of cooperation and leeway from their clubs. The Sons of Ben already have a wide-ranging list of consultation demands on everything from team colors to stadium design elements to game-day transportation deals. And following Toronto’s success, Don Garber’s comments have seemed to say that MLS now recognizes the vital need for dedicated support, which bodes well for both existing and future groups.
Then again, tell that to Red Bull fans.