FC Cincinnati from a Crew fan's perspective
At this point, everyone in Cincinnati has heard of our new flourishing club. It's taken our city by storm and nearly halfway through year two, the success has been unreal.
After a historic victory over the Columbus Crew and another huge matchup against the Chicago Fire coming up in just a few days, the stakes have never been higher for the team. It would be a mistake to not give credit to the fans here in Cincinnati, who have turned Nippert Stadium into a fun and formidable place to play, and the go-to arena for USL teams hoping to get their players in the biggest spotlight they can. When there are 30,000 fans rocking the stadium, the feeling is palpable.
But we've all already known this and experienced this for almost a season and a half now. It's really something no one else in the league can compare to. But a few weeks ago we got a few thousand different eyes in our stadium. When the Crew came down to Nippert they did not come alone, they came with a few thousand of their fans and packed them into their designated supporter section just a few yards from the Bailey. Overall, I think the cross-fan interaction was respectable and handled well, just like a good rivalry should. But to make sure, I took to the Columbus Crew Reddit thread /r/TheMassive to get their hot takes of what they thought of our stadium, atmosphere, and fans.
You can go through the thread in its entirety here, but I'll be snipping some comments out here for your viewing pleasure.
I'd say most of the Crew fans had a positive experience, so we'll start with that.
A lot of visitors enjoyed the surrounding Clifton area with its variety of places to eat and bars to hang out at after and before the game.
Like any sports event, there are some bad apples, and one fan, in particular, was especially heckled, and he was even from Cincinnati:
Overwhelmingly the comments were about the proximity of the Bailey to the Crew supporters section, and the bad behavior of the Crew fans themselves, which left many disappointed with their fellow club (warning for some coarse language):
The smoke bombs set off by Crew supporters ended up smoking out and making a lot of their supporters very angry:
So overall the consensus seems to be that visiting Crew fans had a positive experience. This is by far a small percentage that has voiced their opinion but I think it's a good representation of the overall feeling. Although some fans were given a hard time by FCC supporters, it seems the main issue from Crew fans were their own fellow supporters who are smoke bombs and poor behavior ruined the game for them. I can't really say much on the topic because I was nowhere near that section, but I trust their words on the issue. Perhaps placing the Bailey and the opposing supporters so close to each other is something that can be worked out, but I'm not really sure where else they would put it.
It looks like FCC is on a good trajectory and is very welcoming to visiting fans. If we do eventually move on to MLS, we'll only get more and more fans coming to our city. To those who open their arms and welcome them with respect, I applaud you and ask to keep what you're doing. Soccer is a sport of respect, and though we certainly have rivalries and competitiveness, it's nothing worth screaming at others and being rude to them over. Save that for the ugly scenes at Paul Brown Stadium.
With some Chicago Fire fans expected to make the trip down to Cincinnati this week, let's make sure they have a good time and have a positive experience here at Nippert and look forward to seeing us more in MLS.
So what do you guys think? Are you a visiting fan to Nippert and want your experience to be heard? Or are you an FCC fan with a response? Feel free to contact me @R_Taulbee on twitter with any comments, or leave them here on the article.
(Credit to mlssoccer.com for fan images)