At the Inaugural Game on a cold April 9th, I was standing in a crowded Bailey listening and learning cheers from the two FC Cincinnati Supporters Groups. I was not the only one trying to figure out what is going on. This group of 30+, encouraged the surrounding areas to cheer and tried to keep these songs simple so more would pick up. At halftime, the group actively chanting grew to about 75. By the end of the game, the majority of the middle section and edges of the surrounding zones had learned 4 or 5 songs to bring a fun atmosphere to the match. Hundreds had learned over the course on 90 minutes what it could take to get a good supporters section going.
The next game vs. Louisville, the group grew even larger. Now large parts of the three middle sections were audible and animated. Some of my friends sat to the far side of the stadium and remarked that they could start hearing more noise. As more games passed, the group in the Bailey got louder and more unified in their chorus. From “Mitch Says No”, “We’ll be Comin”, “Cincinnati Here We Go” and more, the Bailey was beginning to morph into a unified force against the opposing teams. Just ask Richmond keeper Charlie Horton.
With all the good, comes a few growing pains. The leadership of Supporters Groups (SG) Die Innenstadt (DI) and The Pride has worked countless hours on how to educate the fan base as a whole. From what to sing, when to chant, what is really appropriate for the crowd as a whole and how to reach out to the community, the Bailey is learning what it takes to be a Supporters Section.
Die Innenstadt President Ryan Lammi is proud of what the SG’s have established so far. “With the combined efforts of Die Innenstadt and The Pride, we have helped created a supporter culture that is energized and excited to participate. We hope everyone will join us to strengthen the Bailey and work toward making the supporter culture stand out above all else.”
Die Innenstadt and the Pride have also made strides in the surrounding community. DI announced that they will be hosting a canned food drive in support of Freestore Foodbank on Saturday, July 9th, 2016. The event will be held at Rhinehaus (119 E 12th St.) and run from 6PM until the end of the St. Louis Football Club vs. FC Cincinnati away match.
This past Saturday Cincinnati Soccer Talk joined members of the Pride & DI as they supported the Make A Wish foundation at the Walk for Wishes at Sawyer Point. Many interested attendees approached the 20 or so members and kept asking them why they were there and how they can get involved with the club. It was exciting to see that group raise money for Make A Wish, but also showing that the supporters of our club really care about the community.
With the creation of several new SG’s (The Legion & Queen City Firm) in the past months and weeks, the leadership of the Pride and DI have invited all to partake in creating more chants and to work on tifos. Any interested FCC fans are invited to join the groups on Wednesday 6/15, 7:30 PM at 2161 Central Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45214 to create a tifo in support of Orlando and the LGBT community after the recent shooting. In times like this, working together for a positive message shows that soccer supporters can make a difference. “In conjunction with tifos,” says Lammi, “we will be working on refining our songs/chants and deciding which, if any, new songs to include on game day.”
If you haven’t yet, make sure to check out the videos on The Bailey: FC Cincinnati Supporters Facebook page or at thepridecincy.com/chants . Members of the SG’s have filmed themselves singing chants so fans can be aware of what to say during games. These are very useful, since the sound in the Bailey travels out much easier than back to the higher rows.
There will continue to be more people who want to become involved in supporting FC Cincinnati. The SG’s have done their part in trying to include as many people as possible. Each SG has their own thing to offer. DI has a wonderful cheering spirit on their walks to Nippert, the Pride brings it in the stands and as offers a fun tailgating and bar experience. The Legion makes it tough for the opposing team on the opposite side of the Bailey and the Queen City Firm is bound to bring their own colorful addition to the Bailey. We do not forget the Den who offer a more family oriented cheering group in Nippert.
“Die Innenstadt’s goal is to have an inclusive community that is accepting of people from all walks of life.” Lammi also states, “If anyone ever feels that they aren’t welcome in the Bailey, for whatever reason, contact one of the supporters groups and we will take it very seriously. We want this to be an extremely open group of people who all have a similar goal: to support FC Cincinnati.”
If all of these groups continue to grow, FC Cincinnati will be able to say they have not only the best fan base in USL, but could be envied by many “larger” clubs in the US. The Bailey has already become one of the most sought after tickets in town. Just look at how fast it sold out for the Crystal Palace game.
Fans like me thank the leaders of the SG’s along with the FO for allowing them to grow in their own unique way. To find out more about each supporters group, check out the links below. We encourage you to find your niche, even if it is not in the Bailey.
Continue to give FC Cincinnati your support and we will see great things to come.