Burlingame Dragons FC President Jordan Gardner Holds AMA on Reddit
Candid Discussion with Fans Provides Keen Insights on the Upcoming Season
Mike Jenkins - BurlingameDragons.com - 1/23/16
On Saturday afternoon, Burlingame Dragons President Jordan Gardner participated in a Ask Me Anything query on Reddit, which opened up direct lines of communication between the fans and the head executive of the Premier Development League team. Gardner took time to answer fans questions and his answers gave fan’s great insight into the 2016 PDL season, the U.S. Open Cup, the rivalry with SFCFC and the future of the organization. Here are the eight best questions and answers from the session. The following were taken directly from the AMA.
- From an off-field perspective, what are your biggest hopes / fears for the upcoming season?
There's a great foundation off-the-field after year 1. We were top 5 in the league in attendance, and had some fantastic sponsors on board (Sony PS4 was our jersey sponsor, Genentech, Caltrain, etc.). We're already building off the excitement of the inaugural season, and my hope is we will significantly increase our attendance and sponsorship goals for 2016. I can't think of any fears, we are in great shape off-the-field right now!
- As a PDL team, how much weight does the Dragons organization give US Open Cup match(es)?
The Open Cup is hugely important for a club at our level. It's an opportunity to prove ourselves against bigger, and more established clubs. There's no reason we can't make a deep run in the tournament this season, PDL teams have a history of doing very well in the tournament.
- How do you feel about your former team (San Francisco City Football Club) now becoming a potential division rival in USL PDL?
I think it's great that SF City has joined the PDL and will be in our division this season. There's going to be a local rivalry (we will be playing them 3 times, maybe 4 depending on the Open Cup), so it's fantastic for soccer in the Bay Area. They have a small, but dedicated group of fans who I'm sure will supporting SFCFC when they come down to Burlingame for all their away matches which should create a fun atmosphere at Dragons Stadium.
- I'm a SF native who bought a Dragons jersey before (SF) City announced they were joining the PDL. Who should I support?
Good question, we crush them in the areas of fan support, financial backing, on-field performance, game day experience, etc. They have a nice story, but we've proven ourselves in year 1 to be a franchise on the rise. We do have a large group of fans in SF who take Caltrain down to the matches!
- Is there any chance you guys will play at Avaya (Stadium) one day?
We would love that opportunity. I've had some preliminary discussions with the Quakes about doing an Open Cup game there, or an exhibition match at Avaya. We're hopeful that if not this season, then next year we'll have a match there. To be honest, it's just a matter of $$$ since it's expensive to open up Avaya. The Quakes want to do it, we want to do it, it just has to make financial sense for everyone.
- Robert Jonas said "The @SJ Earthquakes U-23 PDL affiliate is expected to add many names familiar to Bay Area soccer fans." Can you elaborate at all? If not, any players returning from last season?
There will be a HUGE announcement on Monday with our first player signing, very excited on this one. The other signings will come throughout the next few weeks. We also have much of the roster available for players to earn a spot during our Open Tryouts on Feb 13 (more info -->http://www.burlingamedragons.com/tryouts/). There will be several returning players from last season, and a large chunk of the roster will be guys who came through the San Jose Earthquakes academy.
- Do you see Burlingame Dragons FC moving up a division to USL?
It's a definite possibility in the future, we're exploring all options for growth as an organization. One major hurdle is a suitable venue. While Burlingame High School is in a great location (near Caltrain/downtown Burlingame), it's not viable for USL. We'll have a better idea after this season what direction we want to take the franchise.
- If I were to try to attend my first Dragons match this summer, what match should I try to get to? Why?
I would recommend the match versus the Fresno Fuego. We have a strong rivalry from last season, and they usually bring a good amount of supporters up for the game. Obviously the matches against SF City will be fun as well.