WASHINGTON — In the run-up to opening day at their new stadium, D.C. United’s energetic fan base has been experiencing anything but unity.
But the team has announced that a compromise is in the works that would see all of its three supporters’ groups represented equally.
In a news release put out on Friday, D.C. United announced that the team’s three supporters’ groups, the Screaming Eagles, La Barra Brava and the District Ultras, would all be present at the second game held in the brand-new Audi Field stadium.
The statement came after strong protests from La Barra Brava and the District Ultras over a deal that placed the Screaming Eagles in charge of organizing the supporter culture.
At the previous stadium, all three supporters’ groups could purchase tickets at $20 a piece and resell them to their members for a slight upcharge. This provided funding for many of the activities that the fan groups participated in at both the tailgates and during the games.
The Bravas are particularly renowned for their energetic support of the team and beating drums during the games.
So when the announcement came that the Screaming Eagles would be taking charge of all supporters’ group activities, including ticket purchases, the Bravas and Ultras felt cut out.
Members of La Barra Brava and the District Ultras protested outside of opening day at Audi Field on Saturday, July 14 to show D.C. United’s head office their displeasure over the preferential treatment. Most stayed outside during the game and those that did go inside sat in silent protest.
No official deal has been reached yet between the team and the Bravas or Ultras, but leaders from the two groups say that talks have been positive and that they feel good about the future between the team and all of its supporters’ groups.
As a result, all three groups will be attending the games in their usual energized and passionate ways.
“We’re encouraged by ongoing talks with D.C. United aimed at achieving the equitable ticketing and operational solution necessary to bring the District Ultras to Audi Field.” The District Ultras said in the news release. “Everyone seems sincerely determined to have 90 minutes of full throated support at Audi Field relatively soon.”
Jason Levien, D.C. United’s Managin General Partner and CEO said that making sure all members of the fan base were fairly represented was important to the team.
“D.C. United are one big and growing family. The Screaming Eagles, La Barra Brava and the District Ultras have encompassed the ‘all welcome, all united’ spirit since their inceptions,” Levien said. “Having their leadership at Audi Field is a tremendous boost. It remains D.C. United’s priority to include every member and group in our incredibly diverse fan base.”