COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – Further stability is on the horizon for the Colorado Rapids after team president Tim Hinchey agreed to a new three-year deal to stay on as top boss at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, MLSsoccer.com confirmed this week.
Hinchey has overseen big changes in Commerce City since taking over as team president in December 2011. In an effort to boost attendance, Hinchey helped decide to switch to a more attack-based formation shortly after his hiring, bringing in Oscar Pareja as coach to help implement the plan. He then hired Pablo Mastroeni to continue the project after Pareja left for FC Dallas in January.
More importantly, the Rapids have nearly tripled their season ticket base from 1,900 to nearly 5,300 in less than four years, and Hinchey clinched arguably his biggest coup earlier this month when the club signed Ciao Telecom as the club’s first-ever jersey sponsor.
“I’m grateful to ownership and [owners] Kroenke Sports and Entertainment,” Hinchey told MLSsoccer.com on Sunday. “I want to be here. I think we as a group, as a club, have worked really hard. I feel very humbled to have an opportunity to continue the mission that we have.”
Hinchey was initially approached about an extension in January, but he put off talks while the club finalized Mastroeni’s hiring and technical director Paul Bravo’s promotion to vice president of soccer operations. Hinchey praised Rapids ownership for investing in adding several positions to the front office during his tenure, along with allowing the club to purchase its first-ever Designated Player, striker Gabriel Torres, last August.
“Our ownership is fantastic, they’re very loyal to their folks,” Hinchey said. “[They’ve] invested quite a bit in this facility and in this club for almost a decade now. We’d like to pay him off for that.”
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With Hinchey’s new contract set to expire after the 2016 season, he has one primary goal in mind over the two-and-a-half year window: fill the stands at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on a more consistent basis.
“We need to continue to be involved in the community, but we also need to educate the community that we’re a terrific asset, and that there’s a great opportunity for people to come enjoy our product here,” Hinchey said.
“I think for us, if we can get this to a position to where we’ve got 16 or 17,000 fans every night, that’s absolutely my next goal. And we need to work at it.”
Chris Bianchi covers the Colorado Rapids for MLSsoccer.com.