How to improve our stadium atmosphere?

Discussion in 'San Jose Earthquakes' started by mjlee22, Jul 24, 2019.

  1. mjlee22

    mjlee22 Quake & Landon fan

    Nov 24, 2003
    near Palo Alto, CA
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Don's post in the Reno thread inspired me to ask:

    What could the Quakes do to improve the stadium atmosphere?

    Last year, Tom Fox said he really wanted for Avaya to have as much atmosphere as Arsenal. Of course, winning helps. But even though the Quakes are now playing entertaining, winning AlmeydaBall, the stands are still pretty quiet. The Ultras seem to number <50.

    Dollar beer night is a sensation at Phoenix Rising. But maybe we could do even better with soccer-themed promos along the baseball lines Don described. For example,

    • "Megger Beer" = If the Quakes meg a player, then beer is half-price for the rest of the game. The game announcer has to announce it over the loudspeaker, i.e. Danger yells, "That's a meg! It's Megger Beer time!"
    Anyone else got anything?
     
  2. Scott Rohde

    Scott Rohde Member

    San Jose Earthquakes
    United States
    Jul 28, 2018
    #2 Scott Rohde, Jul 24, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2019
    If a ball flies into LOBINA drinks are 50% off. If a second ball flies into LOBINA drinks are an additional 50% off and so on.

    Or maybe the incentives should better align with the team playing well.

    * If the captain scores we get $1 captain morgan drinks (or $1 churros)
    * If the Quakes score first we drink $1 beers (or $1 churros)
    * Krazy George leads a stadium wide chant for 5 minutes (he can start the chant whenever he wants) - if the Quakes score during this time coupons for the next game are handed out.

    EDIT: after thinking about it I think the prizes have to be handed out at the end of the game. Otherwise it's a mad rush to the bar or concession stand which wouldn't be good.

    EDIT2: improved rules for the Krazy George chant - there is no time limit on the chant - as long as the whole stadium is chanting (decibel levels measured and different points in the stadium) and the Quakes score during the chant the next game is free. The crowd helped the team win the game so the reward is to come back and help them win again.
     
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  3. SoccerMan94043

    SoccerMan94043 Member+

    May 29, 2003
    San Jose
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Let me watch alone :)
     
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  4. billward

    billward Member

    Oct 22, 2002
    El Cerrito, CA
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Good question. Why is it that every expansion team starts out with amazing support but older teams (not just us, most of the remaining original teams have the same issue) have trouble filling their stadium, and when we do the fans are mostly quiet? It's embarrassing.
     
  5. jeff_adams

    jeff_adams Member+

    Dec 16, 1999
    Monterey, Ca
    The deal is, different people want different atmosphere. You are not going to come to a consensus on what the perfect atmosphere would look like.

    The Ultra numbers have been dwindling not because the team was playing poorly, more because Fox and his security team have been harassing them into leaving.

    The front office wants to sell luxury moat seats and get soccer Moms to bring the kids.

    Several of the games I’ve attended the kids around me don’t seem all that interested in the game on the field. They are constantly getting up and looking for food or headed to the bathroom.

    Come to think of it, when I lived briefly in the Sacramento area they had a health club franchise called California Fitness. The gym was huge and included a special area that parents could drop off the kids to play/work out or just have fun and was supervised while Mom and Dad could go upstairs and workout. Maybe the Quakes could do a kids club area where they would be “Jr Ultras” or something where they had fun burning off energy and maybe even watch some of the game. Maybe have vibrating pagers to call parents back for kids that are unruly and lose Jr Ultra privileges.
     
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  6. billward

    billward Member

    Oct 22, 2002
    El Cerrito, CA
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    All the people cheering their hearts out in the expansion stadiums are not kids. What's their secret?
     
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  7. Two Stars Blue

    Apr 17, 2005
    I was just thinking about this on the plane flying home. Two things: 1. Feel free to snarl and gnash teeth, but after seeing what the LAFC fans were able to generate, IN OUR STADIUM, I came away thinking rather than criticize let’s try to emulate some of that because it seems to be working quite well. And 2., not necessarily in-stadium but I’d really love a better on air duo than passarelli and dangerfield. Neither add much insight or atmosphere or...whatever it is, it’s sorely missing. I thought Ray Hudson was a modem day Toby Charles. I’d love to see him come back. And Sharks’ play-by-play man, Randy Hahn is surprisingly good.(He got his start with the San Diego Sockers, I believe...) Then again Jon Miller did Quakes NASL and while he’s a legend for the Giants (or on some nights, was, a legend), he’s not what we’re looking for. I’ll bet Ryan C or some podcasters could even be an improvement.
     
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  8. billward

    billward Member

    Oct 22, 2002
    El Cerrito, CA
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I actually think Dangerfield is not half bad, but Passarelli makes me cringe. And I'm so sick of that guitar riff they play a million times every broadcast. But the local team is still a million times better than the SAP coverage on Univision! I wish we had more games on ESPN or Fox, those guys actually know what they are doing.
     
  9. don gagliardi

    don gagliardi Member+

    San Jose Earthquakes
    Feb 28, 2004
    san jose
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    "We need a BigAss Drum!" :)
     
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  10. billward

    billward Member

    Oct 22, 2002
    El Cerrito, CA
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I think the big drum actually helps. It's a callback to when we had the first game where Krazy George jumped out of the big drum, and it does add to the atmosphere. But compared to the big golden spike in Atlanta, or the slices off the log in Portland, it's not much. Can we come up with something that is more thematic, like a giant seismograph or something?
     
  11. don gagliardi

    don gagliardi Member+

    San Jose Earthquakes
    Feb 28, 2004
    san jose
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    We don't need gimmicks. We need a winning team playing before a full crowd in meaningful games.

    Timber Joey detracts from the atmosphere in my estimation. And the only resemblance of atmosphere in Atlanta (which is more like Mall of America than a soccer stadium) is the first two letters of both words.
     
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  12. hc897

    hc897 Member+

    May 3, 2009
    San Jose, CA
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    If you get more people into the stadium, you'll have a better atmosphere. I think it's really as simple as that. I have actually had very few issues with the way the crowd is during games. It's just that we're talking about a half-full stadium most of the time.

    And remember that there's a hangover effect with good play. The Quakes are winning games and playing some of the most exciting soccer in the league, but it takes a while for word to spread to everyone. It's why attendance goes up the following year, traditionally, or down, if the team plays poorly. Considering the team was dead last in the previous year, it's amazing anybody shows up to the stadium at all.

    In other words, I think the question posed is focused on the wrong aspect, but then again, I'm not very focused on the crowd at games if I can help it, so take that for what it's worth.
     
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  13. billward

    billward Member

    Oct 22, 2002
    El Cerrito, CA
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Watching the gimmicks and crowd at Atlanta home matches is a lot like watching a circus... but people pay good money to see circuses. It adds to the fun. We already have a great on-field product; if not for the first few games of this season we'd be a lot higher in the standings. The issue is that locals haven't realized this. And I do think that the stadium experience needs to be more gimmicky to get the casual fans more into the game - Krazy George is just not enough.
     
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  14. Earthshaker

    Earthshaker BigSoccer Supporter

    Sep 12, 2005
    The hills above town
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Lol, we have about as much atmosphere as Arsenal, whose fans don't have a reputation for fevered support at the Emirates.
    We should strive to emulate the atmosphere at Molineux (Wolverhampton Wanderers).
     
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  15. tenfourteen

    tenfourteen Member

    Sep 30, 2014
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    i'm also ok about not having the big drum or Krazy George around so much. i'd prefer a more organic atmosphere which winning will produce.
     
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  16. Scott Rohde

    Scott Rohde Member

    San Jose Earthquakes
    United States
    Jul 28, 2018
    What’s holding back the Ultras from growing in numbers?
    We can blame the club for harassing them but there’s always two sides to every story.
    What can the club do to better support the Ultras and what can the Ultras do to better support the club?
     
  17. billward

    billward Member

    Oct 22, 2002
    El Cerrito, CA
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I think we need to not just encourage the Ultras but also other supporters groups ... the top teams always have more than one supporter's section.
     
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  18. don gagliardi

    don gagliardi Member+

    San Jose Earthquakes
    Feb 28, 2004
    san jose
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    The Quakes have encouraged competitors for the Ultras for years, to no avail.
     
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  19. billward

    billward Member

    Oct 22, 2002
    El Cerrito, CA
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I know, we've had a few tiny supporters groups but they've never really developed critical mass. Personally I don't have the spoons to be an organizer, but I remember the good old days at Spartan Stadium when I hung out on the edge of the Casbah, singing player's names and "how wide do you want the goal" and other fun chants. The modern Quakes haven't managed to attract a supporters section that has appealed to me the way that did. Or maybe I was just younger then. These days it's a 2 hour drive for me to get to the stadium and I'm old and lazy and just sit in my seat and cheer for goals... :(
     
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  20. don gagliardi

    don gagliardi Member+

    San Jose Earthquakes
    Feb 28, 2004
    san jose
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    You put your finger on it. Supporters get older and fade away. It killed the Casbah, that and the move to Houston. There are more ex-Ultras at games in Avaya (sitting in their seats) than there are existing ones (standing in the end zone). You need to ever-replenish a supporters group with fresh blood. But a decade of shitty play by the Quakes has taken a terrible toll on its availability.

    And you're not the only one without the spoons to be an organizer. Obviously.
     
  21. mjlee22

    mjlee22 Quake & Landon fan

    Nov 24, 2003
    near Palo Alto, CA
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Well, I liked Scott’s idea for $1 churros... they could just send vendors into the stands with loads of churros! Or pre-filled dollar beers!

    As for onsite childcare, what do kids really remember from attending a pro game? The food, the players, and whether or not they had fun (i.e. food and promo items). So they need to be in the stands with family or friends.

    I guess the rest of you don’t care about atmosphere, or think it will return organically when people realize the quakes are a new, winning team and come back to Avaya.

    Oh well I tried :oops:
     
  22. QuakeAttack

    QuakeAttack Member+

    Apr 10, 2002
    California - Bay Area
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    No gimmicks. If I want gimmicks, I go to SJ Giants games (about once a year). Those are fun, but I don't really care about the game.

    For the Quakes, it's all about the product on the field. Winning solves everything...
     
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  23. SeaJayBee

    SeaJayBee Member

    Jun 23, 2008
    Saratoga
    I agree wholeheartedly that a competitive and entertaining product on the field would dramatically improve the atmosphere.

    I think we can all think back to the opening of Avaya. It was full for most games and evidenced true sellouts. It had energy. And there were people on a waitlist for Season Tickets. The interest was there and those people are still around.

    Sadly, they stopped coming back because the product was plain awful. I recall saying last year that the 'Quakes should be paying me to watch that crap!

    Fortunately for the 'Quakes, some of us remained steadfast in our support of the team and weathered the crapfest of the past few years. And now we have entertaining football again. Hooray!

    My goal is now to reconnect with those I knew who used to come to games and used to be STH and let them know about the transformation. My strong preference is that I should not have to do this and local press should be blaring the news. And I would prefer that those "fairweather" fans would have toughed it out although I understand why they left.

    Once (if?) we can rekindle that great enthusiasm we had when Avaya first opened and sold out, I believe that the atmosphere will improve greatly.
     
  24. don gagliardi

    don gagliardi Member+

    San Jose Earthquakes
    Feb 28, 2004
    san jose
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    The local press have abdicated. They are a disgrace.

    Colin told me he recently contacted the Mercury News sports editor to complain about the absence of stories about the California Clasico this year. He was told that editorial decisions are based on clicks and the Quakes don't have them.

    Two points to be derived from this (not that we did not already intuit them):

    (1) it's a downward spiral, in which losing causes fewer people to care, supposedly justifying less media attention, which results in fewer people even knowing about that to which they have ceased to care. Whose fault is it, though, that I choose to get my Quakes news elsewhere?

    and

    (2) Mainstream media editors are unprofessional clowns who richly deserve to be unemployed. What is newsworthy is not determined by what derives the most clicks. That's a strategy for the lowest common denominator of civic engagement -- which is exactly what we now have in this country.

    There is an argument to be made that professional sports should not occupy any of the limited space in a newspaper, but if we accepted that argument, we wouldn't need a Mercury News sports editor. Since the editor obviously accepts the premise that he deserves a job, he needs to publish stories about the local pro soccer team -- even if no one clicks. When the media learn this simple lesson, and report the news, even if it is for sake of argument boring, instead of what they perceive as self-serving (and often false) narratives, their current utter debasement might be somewhat alleviated.
     
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  25. SeaJayBee

    SeaJayBee Member

    Jun 23, 2008
    Saratoga
    This is really the core working argument, in my opinion. I was having this same discussion recently on a different but related topic. There is a fundamental paradox within the economic model we accept as "the American way".

    In our world, everything is "for sale". We use the buying power of the purchasers to determine what lives and what dies. In our world, "News" is not about information, it is a business. Everyone sells "news" and so clicks matter in that model.

    So the paradox is that if we accept that "free enterprise" is our main religion, then it makes sense for news to compete for our attention and $$ decide who wins and who loses.

    The flip side is that if you remove competitive pressures from news and allow news reporting entities to focus on what is actually "news" regardless of commercial value (i.e. clicks) then the "public" needs to find a way to pay for it in some neutral way. That implies "government" or "public" services.

    And that is its own can of worms!

    Newspapers have always been (in the US) commercial enterprises and have always had selling newspapers as their goals. In the early days of Television, the "News" used to be subsidized by entertainment programs and their sponsors. That died long ago.

    I spent most of my professional career building what we now know as the Internet. My naive dream was that, with a low-cost way of publishing, the average person could publish and we, as independent and discerning readers, would be able to receive "news" unfiltered. Sadly my naivety was shattered with the realization of how small minorities have weaponized "news" on the Internet such that we are now even more poorly informed than we used to be.
     
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