Dear Members of 133,
I hope everyone has had a safe and healthy off season. In less than two months we will all be reunited together again at PPL Park. During the off season we have been working with members of the Front Office and leaders of the Sons of Ben to try to make our experience in 133 more enjoyable. The one thing everyone must keep in mind is that this is a grassroots movement in its infancy. We are going to have to fight for what we want, no one is going to give us anything. WE must act together, as individuals no one cares about our voice, as a group we have power – lets not ever forget that. Below I outlined several things that 133 Illegitimates should know. If you have ANY questions or ideas, please let us know by leaving a comment. We want EVERYONE in 133 to have a voice!
1) On March 19th, 2011 – Section 133 will be hosting The Philadelphia UNION 2011 Kickoff at Kildares Irish Pub in Manayunk starting at 8PM. There will be prizes, giveaways and drink specials. In addition, we will be able to watch our Philadelphia Union take on the Houston Dynamo on a large projection screen. Currently, we have 74 people signed up and are expecting many more, so please join us at Kildares on March 19th for the first UNION victory of the season!
2) Shirts are now available at BarkTees – Our goal is to have a “blackout” for the first game, so if you do not have your shirt yet, make sure to place your order now. We are also working on a 2nd shirt design and scarf designs. We are looking for feedback, so once you see them, please let us know which ones you like best and if you have your own thoughts, please send them our way. We want as much input as we can get.
3) We have been in contact with the FO regularly over the last few months and this is the feedback we have been getting. a) We will be unable to bring in poles and drums into the section. We were told that this is mandated by the MLS. The FO is not allowed to have a “recognized” supporter group in the same section that the away supporter section is. We can still bring in our Tifo during matches that away support brings their fans. b) Standing – The FO has put a freeze on selling tickets in 133 unless individuals call in and say they want to sit with the Illegitimates. This is good for us because it allows us to market the 85 available season tickets to like minded people. However, the issue that arises is when the away supporter section does not sell out. They have to sell those tickets to fans that walk up the day of the game. Many of these fans do not know the atmosphere the are getting into (however, this year it will be made very clear to them when they purchase these seats). When the opposing team fills up their section, we are allowed to stand, chant and wave Tifo. When they do not, we may receive some kickback from the FO. However, as I said before, we are strong in numbers. We need to market the remaining tickets to like-mined soccer fans. (We are working on a plan, please send us any suggestions you have). If 85% of the section is standing, they can’t tell us all to sit down. We continue to work with the FO on a weekly basis. Things could change depending how many tickets we can sell. Let’s work together on this and make 133 the best section in MLS. I truly believe this is attainable, but it won’t happen over night. We want you to STAND with us and help make it happen. Without EVERYONE working together, we will not achieve the success I know we can have.
4) Last year we sent out a survey and had a very positive response. There were 24 accounts (at least 40 seats) that said they would like to move in the back and stand with with us. The time to make that change is now. If we can fill up several rows then we will be in good shape. I know Row Z is filling up quickly. If you would like to change your seats please call your ticket representative ASAP. If you have ANY problems or questions, let me know.
5) We have been working with the SoB’s and they have been very supportive of what we are trying to do. They are offering support to us at many different levels. There will be more on this as we continue to build the relationship.
6) Security – We are working with the SoB’s and the FO about the many security issues we had last year. Many things that happened were just down right unacceptable. There will be more on this leading up to the beginning of the season, but we will find a way to make sure we do not have the same issues that we had last year. If you have a complaint or want a certain issue resolved, please let me know. I will be speaking with the SoB’s and the FO on these issues on a regular basis.
7) Tailgates – Same place as last year, beside the old electric building on the water side. Please come join us before home games. This is a great place to hang before we march in together. After all, WE ARE THE ILLEGITIMATES!
What we all must realize is that a year ago many of us did not even know each other. In that time we have made SUBSTANTIAL progress and we will continue to make more, but it will not happen without YOU. I can’t stress how important it is for us to stand together in this endeavor. We look forward to the 2011 being a great year for our Philadelphia UNION and for Section 133 – The ILLEGITIMATES!