2023 Message from the Owners

2023 Message from the Owners

We listened.  And we’re ready for a glorious 2023.

 

There’s no doubt about it – 2022 was a disappointing year for the Old Glory family.  Our performance on the pitch was unacceptable, our coaching change was painful, and our game-day experience at Segra Field left too much room for improvement.  Throughout our off-season, we doubled down on our commitment to build the professional rugby organization that the Greater Washington region deserves.

 

In 2023, Old Glory will bring you:

 

On the pitch:

  • A new culture and approach under new head coach Josh Syms, hired after a global search to find the very best fit to ensure Old Glory’s success in MLR;
  • The return of the core of Old Glory players you’ve come to love and believe in, including USA Eagles Cory Daniel, Mike Dabulas, Jack IscaroJamason Fa’anana-Schultz, and Thretton Palamo, as well as leaders and fan favorites Danny Tusitala and Stan South;
  • Key roster enhancements addressing areas of need, including the arrival of Argentine Pumas flyhalf Joaquin Diaz (“Tito”) Bonilla, Argentina XV´s Captain Lautaro Bavaro and All Blacks Sevens star Kurt Baker.

At the stadium:

  • Transportation and parking improvements including:
    • The elimination of charges for parking and the resulting long backups to enter (thanks to the generous sponsorship of Sheehy Auto);
    • The opening of Metro’s nearby Silver Line;
    • The return of tailgating (non-alcoholic);
  • Increased ticket options at lower price points, including:
    • A new Bronze Level of seating with individual adult game tickets as low as $20
    • Kid’s prices (at half adult prices) in both our Bronze and GA seating section
  • Improved game day experience including:
    • The return of a Beer Garden, building community between the club and all fans;
    • Enhanced engagement with our players for meeting, pictures and autographs;
    • Game-day activations including ceremonies honoring our military personnel;
    • Improved and expanded food & beverage options.

 

Throughout our organization:

  • New front office leadership under General Manager for Business Operations Marcelo Blanco, bringing both a world-wide perspective on the business of rugby and a committed focus on building the Greater Washington rugby market, as well as our loyalty to our supporters and partners.
  • More opportunities for you to meet, talk with, be coached by, and learn from our coaches and players, both at our MLR games and at Young Glory academy games, and in grass roots clinics and coaching sessions throughout the region all season long.

 

We started this year’s off-season by listening to you — our supporters and partners.  We know that you are invested in this journey right alongside us, and we know that we depend on you to succeed.  Your energy is fuel to our players, and your ideas and input are essential to our future.  That also means that your concerns are our concerns, and we will do everything in our power to address them.  Based on what we heard from you, we spent our off-season augmenting the core Old Glory organization with key leadership in our coaching ranks, on our player roster, and among our professional staff.  With that talent in place, we revised policies and procedures to improve on everything that disappointed us in 2022.

 

To be successful, any such action plan must be rooted in the culture we seek to cultivate, our vision for the future of Old Glory, and the strategies for both short-term and long-term success.  We want all of our supporters and partners to know that we remain committed to the mission we established at our founding:

 

Old Glory DC exists to grow the game, foster a rich community, and deliver the highest quality rugby to Greater Washington, D.C.

 

As an organization and a team, we embrace five key values:

 

  • Inclusion. Rugby is for everyone. Our words and actions foster a sense of belonging
    and togetherness.
  • Respect. Rugby is a global sport. We come from all walks of life but respect our teammates,
    officials, opponents, and, most importantly, the game.
  • Community. Rugby is a brotherhood and sisterhood that extends throughout the world.  Our supporters, partners, regional players and coaches from the youth through seniors levels, and our counterparts in countries around the globe are all part of the Old Glory family.
  • Integrity. Rugby demands honor.  We do right, speak honestly, and hold ourselves and each other accountable.
  • Passion. Rugby is a lifestyle built on commitment. Our love for it is evident in everything we do.

In partnership with our not-for-profit foundation and its Young Glory teams, we are committed to growing the game at every level, from the grass roots through an elite academy system and at the highest level of professionalism in North America – ultimately bringing the MLR Shield to D.C.

 

The brand of Old Glory reflects pride in our nation, of which our home town is the capital, and honors the many people in our region who, directly or indirectly, work in service to our fellow Americans.  But that brand also reflects that we are a connection between our country and the global rugby community – just as Captain William Driver’s original Old Glory flag was flown above his merchant ship as he circumnavigated the globe, from the UK to the South Pacific, and all the places in between whose rugby cultures today demonstrate the excellence we strive to develop here in North America.

 

In the same way, our vision for the future reflects commitments to focusing on the development of “home grown” North American talent (and thus elevating the performance of the U.S.A. and Canada national teams) and infusing our roster and coaching ranks with the best available talent from all over the world.  These international influences from Tier 1 rugby nations will instill the professionalism and expertise that will be central to our culture, providing the best environment for growth of all our players, whether domestic or international.  At Old Glory, they will come together as one with pride in our shield and our traditions as the foundations for excellence.  We hope you will join us in that community, and take pride in Old Glory for who we are, the commitments we make, and the values we embrace.

 

This endeavor does not succeed without you, our fans.  Old Glory needs you to turn out in support at our home games in solid numbers.  Although we’ve not experienced the number of home wins we wanted over the last three years, it’s important to note that all of our wins in that time have come in front of crowds of over 2,000.   Our players feed off your energy, and it’s only you who can make our house an intimidating place for opponents to play.  We’re counting on you to join us in representing the DMV and building a proud Old Glory tradition.

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