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 Colorado Rapids

Rapids Players and Fans Celebrate Season Kickoff Party, Get First Glimpse of One Flag Kit Ahead of Home Opener

February 29, 2024 - Major League Soccer (MLS)
Colorado Rapids News Release


The Colorado Rapids celebrated the start of the season on Wednesday night at the 2024 Season Kickoff Party, where fans, players and members of the Colorado community came together to preview the season and see the One Flag Kit in person for the first time.

This year, the Rapids laid out multiple interactive experiences for fans to show their support while also meeting some of their favorite players, including a fashion show and interviews with players and coaches.

Zayd Kahook, an under-12 defender who plays with Colorado Rapids Youth Soccer, was able to meet his favorite player at the Season Kickoff Party, Lalas Abubakar. He was excited to get to meet all of the players at the party, saying he'd never been to the team's event in years past. He is most looking forward to hopefully "seeing the team in the finals."

Casey Withers echoed his sentiments, referencing Abubakar as his favorite player and that this year's party was his first as a fan.

"It was a lot of fun, I like the fact that it was accessible to all different levels of fans," he said. "Some people can afford the season tickets and some people can afford the jerseys and some people just want to support the team."

The new One Flag Kit was on display at the event as the Rapids roster showed off the new threads on the runway. The waved checker pattern and sky-blue accents are a reimagined take on the classic Burgundy & Blue kits seen in Rapids' history, while paying homage to the fans that fly their flags at each and every game.

The "Letters to Legends" station allowed fans to reminisce on the grade-school days of passing notes through slots in lockers by writing inspirational messages to players and coaches, slip them into a locker, and have their message read by the team before the Home Opener against Nashville SC this weekend.

Rapids' jersey sponsor and Colorado-based health system UCHealth presented their own interactive experience, a 360 camera for fans to get their video taken with players like Cole Bassett and Michael Edwards.

The Rapids' latest merchandise line, NinetySix38, was made with supporters in mind through the pieces' accents like crossed oars to commemorate Centennial38's longstanding tradition and a checkered flag emblazoned with "96", harking back to the Rapids' first year in MLS as an original club. The line was available for fans to purchase in person for the first time on Wednesday night and will also be available in team stores starting on Saturday. Check out the full line and stories from the supporters here.

The Rapids also introduced their new In-Game Host, Haiya Kofler, to the crowd on Wednesday night. Kofler will join legend Drew Moor to host "Out Of Bounds" pregame and at halftime at home games in 2024.

Fans in attendance at the event ranged from longtime Season Ticket Members to young players, and new fans who are excited to have another team to support.

Brandon Strohrer moved to Denver from Columbus and met his neighbor, Robert Bass, who brought him to a Rapids game. Strohrer supported 2023 MLS Cup winners Columbus Crew but has no hesitations to start supporting the Rapids and sitting with his friends all season as a Season Ticket Member.

"It's the Western Conference, I can justify it," he joked. "I've gotten to see three championships for Columbus. This year, I'm looking forward to hopefully seeing another championship. But to that point, the playing style I'm used to watching for all those years, I actually saw pieces and parts of that against Portland and I look forward to being able to see more of that this year because it brings excitement."

Evidenced by the turnout and interactions between fans and players at the party, excitement is ramping up within the Rapids faithful ahead of the home-opening match with Nashville SC on Saturday.

Withers has just one message to the team to sum up fan sentiment ahead of the season: "We believe in you."


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Major League Soccer Stories from February 29, 2024


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