Houston Dynamo FC rides out the rest of this MLS season in last place in the Western Conference. Just three years ago, a highly organized supporters group demanded change.
In last place in the MLS Western Conference as the 2022 season closes, Houston Dynamo FC has changed a lot. Ownership, management, seat designs, and to a minimal extent, the team name has changed, adding the FC.
But three years ago, a finely organized supporters group demanded a few changes that got the attention of the Dynamo front office.
Dynamo Fans for Change documented season-ticket sales dropping due to reduced team performance from about 12,000 to under 7,000. They also put out through Facebook and other resources that the Dynamo 2019 player salary totaled fourth from the bottom in the MLS at $8.7 million.
Some media checked out the claims and published them.
The Dynamo front office held productive meetings with the group in 2019 and 2020. The result reported to Fansided’s MLS Multiplex was fairly positive. Yet Dynamo Fans for Change said they approached the next seasons cautiously.
As the league played through those seasons through the current one, one key request of the fans organization remained unmet. The team failed to acquire a player of the topmost caliber.
Moving management in and out while restructuring seat sales and other promotions hasn’t produced more wins in the team record. And more wins with consistent returns to post-season play are completely necessary to get the supporters’ overwhelming collective confidence.
Without that increased performance, the attendance decline will continue.
In the past, the Dynamo won two MLS championships and were runner-ups twice. The team drew over 20,000 per game in 2015. Attendance has declined every season since then.
Lately, when media asks supporters to explain their steadily increasing lack of enthusiasm, it’s a new group of names who lament the team’s lack of success.
Dynamo Fans for Change spoke their peace perfectly well – with all their evidence documented – three years earlier. The front office looked, listened, responded, and the problem remains.
The low payroll addressed by the fan group remains. The empty roster spot for a top-caliber player is still empty.
So it’s new names lamenting to local media now. Yet, those new names list exactly the same key issues documented by Dynamo Fans for Change three years earlier. Although those pioneering supporters have appeared to become silent today, their issues keep getting ink and air.
When the Dynamo finally fills that star-roster slot and starts paying for more excellent performance, you still might not be aware of Fans for Change members. But they’ll be in the stands smiling and then cheering. They were heard then and now they’ll see the result.
May it happen next season.