Home Field Bottom Line Advantage


Fort Wayne has a team in the National Indoor Football League (think Single-A minor league baseball, but football, played indoors). The Fort Wayne Freedom are a pretty decent team, too. They just missed the playoffs after an 8-6 record last year in their inaugural season, and they made the playoffs as the #6 seed by going 8-6 this year. Their opponent Sunday will be the #3-seeded, 9-5, Show Me Believers.

The game will be in Fort Wayne.

Why? Money. Fort Wayne led the league in attendance this year, averaging over 8000 per game. Show Me, on the other hand, never topped 3000. The league decided, and the Show Me owner accepted, that the game would be in Fort Wayne rather than St. Charles. The gate is split 2/3 - 1/3, and Show Me decided that 1/3 of a 10,000 gate (minimum - Fort Wayne's last home game drew 10,000 - I'm betting a playoff game will damn near sell out (which would be about 12,000)) was a better deal than 2/3 of a 3,000-person gate. Of course, the Freedom come out WAY ahead under this scenario.

This is good news for me and my son - we've been to five games this year, and I already have our tickets for Sunday (in prime PAT-catching territory, and in the NIFL it's "catch it and keep it"). The games are an absolute blast: the pregame ceremony features a speech from Braveheart, pyrotechnics, and an Eminem rap, and the house just plain rocks the whole game long. It just seems a bit sour to get a home game this way, and I feel bad for the Believers' fans.

Just not bad enough to skip the game. Go Freedom!

Update: Fort Wayne won, 45-28, and it wouldn't have been that close except for some questionable officiating (I should have suspected something was amiss when I saw the refs get off the visiting team's bus).

The attendance was only 5,180, which disappointed me tremendously since this is the last home game they'll have this year (barring a series of miracles that would pit them against the #6 seed in the other conference in the championship game). Also a correction to the original entry - Show Me was the #5 seed (Lexington was the #3 seed).


I'm glad I read the owner's acceptance and letter of explanation... I had no idea that my hometown is fielding an indoor football team!

"we would be playing this game against the two-time reigning champion Ohio Valley Greyhounds in Wheeling, West Virginia."

Go Greyhounds! Go Freedom! Rock, rock on! Damn, I want to go to a game!

I keep forgetting to tell you that. But wait, it gets better - if Fort Wayne wins Sunday, they'll play at Wheeling next week!

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This page contains a single entry by Chris published on July 8, 2004 11:48 AM.

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