Wednesday, March 07, 2007
I had never attended an Arena Football game until Sunday. The Austin Wranglers have been around for a few years, but it had never appealed to me to go watch a football game played on a short field inside a basketball arena. Turns out, it was GREAT.
My family joined some friends for the season home opener to watch the Wranglers vs. the Las Vegas Gladiators. My kids really enjoy sporting events, so we figured it was a fun way to spend a Sunday afternoon. Since we have no major league teams in Austin (although the University of Texas Longhorns do dominate the sports scene!), we try to go to an occasional minor league baseball, hockey or basketball game.
The Arena Football League has done a great job of creating an exciting family friendly experience. The games are fast paced, engaging, and hard-hitting. The kids love the action, and all the regular hoopla of a attending games (the cotton candy, souvenirs, and t-shirts being tossed to the crowd). My ten-year-old likes to watch sports and kept her eyes on every play. My five-year-old had fun socializing with another kid who was with us, and loved the cheerleaders (she announced that she wants to be a cheerleader when she grows up! This adds to the list of "teacher, mommy, horseback rider, doctor and rockstar).
The rules of the game are a little different than your normal football game, but I like how the ball stays in play when bouncing off the nets. The differences are minor, and you pick it up fast.
Following the game the fans get to spill onto the field and the players, coaches and cheerleaders stay around to sign autographs.
As for an affordable family activity, Arena Football was fantastic. Having attended, we will definitely go again. The schedule has eight home games, and we will surely go back soon!
I am also spinning my mind to figure out how to create a client/prospect event at a future game. I was very impressed with everything about the Wranglers organization, and think that more people need to discover this local treasure. The arena was less than half full, and this is a disappointment for both the team and the community.
The AFL has nineteen teams around the United States, so if you live in an AFL city, and have never experienced Arena Football....then get yourself out to a game. You will not be disappointed, and you can have your football fix during the spring!
Have A Great Day.