Let There Be Smoke: Valour SG Trials New Home
In the cavernous atmosphere of IG Field, bringing as much noise as you can is crucial, particularly if you’re a club bringing in about 3,000 fans per match in a 33,000 all-seater.
Not making things easier is the fact that The Trench – the official supporters’ section of Valour FC – is isolated to a relatively distant corner of the stadium, a bit away from the action.
That’s set to change this weekend, though.
The club is trialing a move of the supporters’ end that sees The Trench uprooted from its familiar corner locale to a section right behind the goalkeeper’s net, echoing a much more traditional spot for a football SG. While it’s still high and further away from the pitch than most, the move is expected to bring a noticeable improvement to the fan experience.
What’s more, this section will be permitted to set off smoke in the front row, another move that is expected to enhance the atmosphere at IG Field.
To start, the two rows behind the smoke-capable front row will be taped off, though this is subject to change in the future pending a safe trial of SG-controlled smoke usage.
After fans snuck in smokes and set them off in the original corner section earlier this month, security became involved – though the club was quick to use the resulting images of smoke on social media. That seemed to have progressed talks about moving The Trench, who can now use smoke conditionally.
The Trench’s move comes after discussions between the Red River Rising supporters’ group and club officials began at the start of the season.
The conditions of the trial move also state a zero tolerance policy for referee abuse, subject to which the supporters’ end would be relocated to its original corner location should an incident rise,
“The board would like to publicly extend a huge thank you to Wade, Kelly, and JT for their involvement in these changes,” added Red River Rising President Taylor Yuel. “Not only did they respond and arrange a meeting for this very quickly, they are also being very accommodating with the freedoms they are allowing us.”
The supporters’ group says that they’re still working on adding banners and tifo, and hope to see the allowed rows of smoke expanded in the future.
“This is a call to everyone to come back and help full the trench. If the trench isn’t your thing fill the rest of the stadium and support our boys from there,” adds Renee.
Valour’s first match with the new supporters’ section will take place today against Vancouver FC.