"We will be the only supporters club at the pub, a testament to how quickly we have grown over a short period of time."
MEET THE FANS: TRIANGLE GOONERS
Group name: Triangle Gooners
Location: Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina
Durham Pub: Bull McCabe's Irish Pub
427 West Main Street, Durham
Raleigh pub: The Stag's Head
106 Glenwood Ave, Raleigh
Facebook: Triangle Gooners
If you ask any of the Arsenal America branch managers, they will tell you that creating -- and sustaining a supporters' group is not easy task. Sometimes the groups are a huge success, sometimes they slowly fade away. Such was the case in North Carolina's 'Triangle' - an area made up by the cities of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill.
But now a group that was once just a handful of loyal supporters huddled together in someone's living room, has been reborn and is now thriving with more members than ever before.
Brett Stein, co-founder of the Triangle Gooners says "The Triangle Gooners are an ambitious supporters club that hopes to be one of the premier groups in the country, creating an environment that could only be rivaled by the Emirates itself.
"We are happy to welcome any recently transplanted or traveling Gooners or even those who are on the fence about what club they would like to support."
The Triangle Gooners, originally founded in 2008, re-launched in 2012.
"The Triangle Gooners had been dormant for years, they'd existed quietly and were rarely ever seen. Despite the existence of a solid Arsenal fan base in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, North Carolina area there was very little organization or leadership," Stein admitted.
"In the fall of 2012 a small group of like-minded individuals decided to take the Bull City and surrounding areas by the horns and begin stocking the local Armoury with Arsenal supporters. Our first official supporters club meetup on December 29, 2012: an AFC blowout over Newcastle 7-3."
"We had 60 supporters turn out for the season opener in 2013," Stein said. "Our hard work is paying off."
A big part of that was settling into their new home. "Over the years, Bull McCabes has consistently proven to be a place that welcomes Gooners with open arms," Stein said. "So the Triangle Gooners have decided to make Bull's their home in 2013. We will be the only supporters club at the pub, a testament to how quickly we have grown over a short period of time."
In addition to Bull's, the group has added a second pub in neighboring Raleigh, The Stag's Head.
And Arsenal aren't just growing in the Triangle area. The club have seen a massive growth in popularity throughout the region. "The Triangle Gooners are the largest EPL supporters club in our area, although Liverpool is a close second," Stein said. "To the south of us about two hours away in Charlotte, North Carolina, there is a great group of Arsenal upporters -- the Queen City Gooners. And to the north about two hours in Richmond, Virgina, there is another new supporters club.
"With the recent summer tours and increased TV coverage there has been an upswing in EPL interest of late, but it seems the Gooners in the area have always been around and are just now organizing well."
Copyright 2020 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source.