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It was almost my ideal fan experience

If Chivas USA were a stock, now would be the time to buy.

Owen Main

It was almost my ideal fan experience.

I drove up to the gate with almost no traffic, parked within 100 yards of the gate. In a stadium that held 27,000 fans, I could have basically picked my seat in the lower level. For last Sunday's game against FC Dallas, Chivas USA drew under 4,000 fans.

Honestly, I kind of liked it. I'm only 33, but my "inner child" is actually a crotchety old man. Think about the things that can be annoying about taking a trip to a professional game.


Traffic is a huge stress-point for me. I hate sitting still in my car, especially in a parking lot. I really hate inefficiency, and most parking lots aren't great.

Honestly, parking at most college soccer games I go to was more difficult than it was on Sunday night. I can't say enough about the advantages of finding a team that is a little down and going to watch them. I'm sure tickets weren't


Filling a stadium is a double-edged sword. I never had to wait in line for food or for a restroom. I walked through the concourse freely. On the way out of the stadium, I pulled my car directly out into the street without a problem. Streets seemed borderline deserted just a few blocks away from the stadium.

For someone who doesn't like sitting in his car, it was heavenly.

I have to give special props to the fans that were there. The drum-banging section 101 kept the noise going as much as possible. When Chivas is relevant again in a few years, they can all say that they were there through the tough times.

To be clear, I'm definitely talking out of both sides of my mouth when it comes to crowds. There is no better place to be than a packed soccer stadium. Whether it's Alex G. Spanos Stadium on the campus of Cal Poly during the nation's best college soccer rivalry, or a Galaxy or Sounders game, energy from a big, raucous crowd is a special thing. But, if a team is going to be really bad, there is also something that can be cathartic and special about unwaveringly rooting for them, especially when they're at their worst.

Buy now!

If Chivas USA were a stock, soccer fans in Los Angeles need to buy now. This league is on the rise, growing at a strong, steady rate. Chivas USA might be the only exception team in the league's growth curve. The MLS, which owns the team at the moment, won't let a team in Los Angeles fail. You can bet they'll only sell to an owner who can effectively manage a franchise in one of the best and biggest markets in the league. In Los Angeles, you can bet that the new owner will come in with some it factor. Remember, Los Angeles was the first city with two teams. Chivas is a mess right now, but I don't think they're as far away as it seems.

Honestly, if I lived in Los Angeles, season tickets to Chivas are something I'd consider. Imagine being able to watch all the best players from around the country as they came to town without dealing with traffic and basically being able to sit wherever you want. It's almost a dream come true in terms of convenience and access.

When the team gets better and starts to fill the stadium, you could say that you were there through the lean years. How much more would a successful season mean at that point?

They might not be called Chivas USA by then, but in two to three seasons, this will be a team on the upswing.