In the first part of this series I laid out some helpful tips on tickets and parking, then in the second part I provided information on the tailgate scene and things to do outside of the stadium before the game begins.
Now that you're in the stadium, the fun has only just begun. This time around I'll cover the traditions inside the stadium, a brief history of both the Dash and the Dynamo, and those awesome supporter groups.
Let's start with the history lesson first, shall we kids?
A Brief History Lesson
The Dynamo moved from San Jose, California in December 2005 due to stadium and attendance issues in San Jose. MLS allowed San Jose to keep the Earthquake's team name, colors, history, etc. and technically labeled the Houston Dynamo as an "expansion" franchise. San Jose returned to the MLS ranks in 2008 so don't feel too bad for them sports fans. The Dynamo won the MLS Cup in its first two seasons in Houston and hope to make a deep run in the playoffs this season.
The Dash joined the NWSL (National Women's Soccer League) in 2014. The expansion team was announced in December of 2013 and became the first expansion team for the NWSL. Popularity for the women's league has only grown since its inception since the Women's World Cup team was able to increase publicity for the sport and the specific team members who play in the MLS, including the Dash's own Carli Lloyd and Morgan Brian. While the Dash are still a young team, they have made strides to become very competitive in the NWSL. 2016 should be a great season for the team.
While the Dynamo and Dash both are still relatively new to the Houston sports scene, they both already have some great traditions in place. MLS (and most soccer leagues, if not all) have a great tradition of having the team march out onto the field during the pregame ceremony with the team flags flying high. After the singing of the national anthem (please remember to remove your hat out of respect). Moving on, after the anthem, you'll hear a loud chorus begin to ring through the stands. The lyrics are a bit tough...here you go:
We are orange
Forever we are orange
Forever we are orange
Forever we are orange
There are numerous other songs that are sung throughout the game. Dale Dale (Dale dale dale dale dale dale dale Hous-ton! Dale dale dale dale Dynamo!) is another popular song however the one song, the one that can get in your head for a good week after the game, is "Let's Go Dynamo". Score a goal, having something absolutely outstanding happen...this song echoes through the stands (and most of East Downtown (EaDo for short). Here we go, stay with me now "Gooooo Dynamo...Leeeeet's go Dynamooooooooo, Let's go Dynamo!" annnnd repeat until the crowd stops.
To the die-hard fans that I just ticked off for not including their favorite (or if I got the Dale lyrics wrong), please include your favorite in the comments so others can learn it to. The supporter groups all have some of their own songs and there's no way I can include all of them and still have time to write about other topics. Seriously though, put them in the comments so I can learn them to :)
When you experience the first Dynamo goal of the game you'll notice something else other than the music, the beautiful orange streamers flying through the stands. For just a few bucks at most merchandise stands (might be the cheapest thing in BBVA Compass Stadium) you can get a roll of orange streamer. When the Dynamo score, or at the end of the game when the whistle blows and we get another "W", rare back and launch that streamer high in the air! Technically fans are NOT allowed to throw anything onto the field at any time. However if you happen to accidentally have some streamer hit the beautiful green grass...well accidents can happen any time to anyone. Also, if you happen to have it land on you from a fan behind you (like maybe a young 7 year old kid that doesn't have a great arm yet...) don't get mad, just join in on the fun!
I could go on and on about various traditions throughout the game, to make it easy on everyone though, just pay attention to what's going on and if fans around you are all holding their arms straight out and making noise, copy them and be loud doing it!
Every fan at BBVA can quickly point out the Supporter Group sections. They are the awesome fans that lead the chants, beat the drums, and have a great time. The main Dynamo supporter groups are the Texian Army (@TexianArmy), Brickwall Firm (@Brickwall_Firm), El Battalion (@BatallonEb ), and the Bat City Battalion (@AustinDynamo). While Bayou City Republic (@BayouCityRep) can be found cheering loud for the Dash. I reached out to Bat City Battalion to learn more about an emerging group out of Austin. I heard back from Andres Naranjo, the group's founder. The native Venezuelan has been in Houston for about 6 years now and quickly fell in love with our boys in orange.
Andres said "I've attended about 50+ games and counting, currently a season ticket holder and a member of the Texian Army, and I dedicate some of my time running certain blogs for the Dynamo. You could say that I am beyond a "diehard" Dynamo fan, and I'd say that you're right! My current goal: Assemble the first Dynamo supporters group in Austin, Texas, the Bat City Battalion. Certain rituals: Now that I live in Austin, I attend at least one Dynamo game per month, and I'm required to bring at least one family member or friend to the game at all costs. I'm currently looking forward to set rituals as soon as the Bat City Battalion is fully organized."
The Dynamo just included a great article here on their new supporters section, make sure to check it out. No matter where you live or where you're from, you'll find a home at BBVA Compass Stadium. Now go get a ticket and join the fun! If you're at the game this Friday, come by section 237, row F and say hi.