Thursday, April 5, 2012

ArenaBowl XXV - Welcome to New Orleans

By A.W. Herndon
The BCS National Championship game may not have provided New Orleans football fans with the high-octane offenses they’ve grown accustom to seeing, but they will not have to wait until next season for a championship shootout in the Bayou. ArenaBowl XXV is coming to the city on August 10, 2012, and that means touchdowns in Nola will be as common as crawfish.
ArenaBowl will join the Allstate Sugar Bowl, BCS National Championship game and the 2012 NCAA Final Four as part of a sports-packed calendar year for the city, with the Super Bowl coming in 2013.
For New Orleans resident and owner of the AFL’s New Orleans Voodoo Dan Newman, it is no shock that major sports events flock to the city.
“(New Orleans) is a destination because of the culture, food and the wonderful people,” he said. “People build themselves around entertaining here and it shows.”
According to Newman, it’s attractive for leagues such as the AFL because the city is a “football town” that consistently rallies behind its teams. He points to 2007 and 2008, the last time the ArenaBowl was held in New Orleans as proof of the cities dedication to football. Both games were sellouts.
“Louisiana is a football Mecca,” Newman said.
This season the AFL is returning to hosting its championship game on a neutral site, its first time since 2008. In last season’s championship, the Jacksonville Sharks beat the Arizona Rattlers on their home field, which was given to them due to seeding.
“The last time we held the ArenaBowl at a neutral-site, New Orleans proved themselves as great hosts,” AFL Commissioner Jerry Kurz said. “The entertainment and atmosphere was electric and we cannot wait to accomplish even more this season.”
Newman and Kurz agreed that this year’s ArenaBowl is slightly different, however. It’s more than a football game. It will be the celebration of a historic AFL season.
“This is our Silver Anniversary of the AFL, and through a variety of events we want to culminate the season with a bang,” Kurz said. “We have a week-long schedule of events planned that will be a great experience for everyone who attends.”
Newman said the events – including a golf tournament, major concert and Silver Anniversary Gala – will be just a prelude to the main attraction, the big game.
“I expect nothing less (of what we did in ’07 and’08),” he said. “We’ve already sold a bunch of tickets, and as the season begins the excitement around ArenaBowl will grow even more.
That’s good news for everyone, but especially for the New Orleans football fans.
Kentucky was crowned champion last week. LSU was anointed earlier. And in August, it’ll be the ArenaBowl’s turn.

No comments:

Post a Comment