Question – Have you ever watched a soccer game, and noticed the section of fans behind the net, waving flags, banging drums, and doing chants? Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be among those fans? Well, it’s your lucky day.
The New England Revolution are one of Major League Soccer’s original franchises. Founded in 1996, the Revs as their known to locals, have drawn fans across the Northeast since the club’s inception into the league. For all 21 years of the club’s existence, the Midnight Riders, New England’s official supporters group, has been stationed behind the goal to cheer on the Revs.
As a card carrying member of the Midnight Riders, here is what the full fan experience is like at a New England Revolution match.
- Fans typically show up to a match anywhere from 2-3 hours before the match, setting up their tents and grills in Gillette Stadium’s Lot Number 4.
- Some fans enjoy breaking out the grill to make the classics like Sausage, Peppers and Onions.
- Approximately a half hour before kickoff, fans get ready to enter the stadium.
- Just before the start of the match, the supporters unveil a tifo, or large banner, showing their support of the club. The most recent one was Star Wars themed.
- With the opposing goaltender directly in front of us, the supporters made sure to let them know who the home team was…by unleashing an avalanche of streamers in traditional Revs colors.
- For 90 minutes straight, supporters remain standing, constantly cheering and singing in an attempt to will the club to victory.
- Every sport has its traditions, and at the Revs, its singing Toto’s hit-song “Africa” at halftime.
- And jumping up and down to “Seven Nations Army” at the 63 minute mark.
- The job of soccer supporters is to bring the stadium to life, and to be the proverbial twelfth man on the pitch.
- First to show up, and the last to leave, supporters always show respect and solidarity to their team after the match.
So that’s what it’s like to be a fan of the New England Revolution. If you thought that soccer fans were crazy…well you’re partially correct. But at the same time, soccer fans are a breed of their own, and something you need to experience firsthand. I hope you enjoyed.