Arena Football Is Coming to KC, Will Most Fans Care About It?
The Arena League, which promises to push the boundaries of football, is coming to Kansas City starting next summer. The big question is, will Kansas City football fans embrace it?
Kansas City is one of four cities getting a team in the Arena League, with the Arena Lague's website touting teams for Springfield, Missouri; Duluth, Minnesota; and Waterloo, Iowa. That's a small league. Their website touts some differences from traditional football.
First, the game is played on a 50-yard field indoors. The games contain a quick play clock with no huddles, 15-man rosters with players playing both ways and younger athletes who can think quickly and adapt.
In other words, their brand of arena football isn't exactly all that faithful to the NFL or NCAA football. Not that a game played in facilities designed for basketball or hockey could be.
It looks to me like it's supposed to be a quicker game with more action. Although, isn't that sort of how they've tried to sell Arena Football for decades now? The new league playing on a 50-yard field isn't that different than other indoor football leagues. Nor is the smaller roster, although their 15-man roster and six on the field, is smaller than the Arena Football League's 20-man roster and eight men on the field gameplay.
The new team will play its home games at the Municipal Auditorium, a facility built by the leader of the City's Democratic Party from the mid-1920s through 1939, Tom Pendergast, and has named itself after Pendergast's gang, The Goats.
“There were a lot of different ideas coming from the fans. As examples of suggestions that were sent in, we had the Kansas City Potholes, the Kansas City Kings, and the Kansas City Ribs. Of the thousands of suggestions sent in, one of them stood out,” said St. John in a team press release. That would be The Goats.
Arena League Commissioner and NFL Hall of Famer and Heisman Trophy winner Tim Brown was in Kansas City yesterday to announce the name of Kansas City's Arena League franchise and introduce the ownership group of the team which includes Chiefs Hall of Famer Christian Okoye, Gates BBQ Chief Operating Officer Geoge Gates and sports radio personality Steven St. John.
I have no clue how well the new league will be received by fans, but I certainly hope it works. If for no other reason than I like rooting for underdogs. It'd be a great story if The Chiefs Kingdom embraced summer football, packed the Municipal Auditorium, and the City becomes the anchor of a league that truly makes indoor football a truly viable indoor sport across America.
What do you think? Will you check out Arena League football at the Municipal Auditorium next summer?