Today: Kansas City Command Arena Football Team Off to Stealth Start

Are you ready for some football?

Where the new Kansas City Command is concerned, the answer appears to be no. Four games into the Arena Football League team’s inaugural season there’s almost zero buzz. The Command won its first home game last weekend against the Iowa Barnstormers – after losing three on the road – but attendance was a far cry from its forebears, the Kansas City Brigade.

In 2006 the Brigade packed Kemper Arena for its home opener with an announced, sellout crowd of 16,523.

While attendance for the Command’s home opener Saturday at Sprint Center went unreported, sources say the team announced a crowd of "5,300 and change."

"It seemed generous when I heard the number, but that might have included tickets sold — more likely given away — to corporations or groups," says one media member who attended the game.

The reason for Command’s attendance falloff?

Gone are the A-List staffers who catapulted the Brigade onto KC’s consiousness and sports map in 2006.

They included Sporting Kansas City marketing wiz Rob Thomson, former Chiefs star Neil Smith, Mix 93.3 FM’s Jenny Matthews and "Survivor" winner Danni Boatwright.

So while remnants of the Brigade’s logo and its core ownership remain intact, the Command has its work cut out going into home game No. 2 against the Arizona Rattlers Saturday at Sprint.

"I don’t think the Command did a great job marketing that it was back," the media member says. "Most people I know were unaware that the franchise had started up again."

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10 Responses to Today: Kansas City Command Arena Football Team Off to Stealth Start

  1. Super Dave says:

    Thanks Hearne
    Well didn’t know there is a team playing again. Maybe there was a press release on it and I missed it. Oh well thanks Hearne least I know now.

  2. Hearne says:

    The only place I’ve heard or seen anything about the Command
    is in the Star sports section in the team’s ads. Looks like WHB has some sort of an affiliation, so they’ve probably sucked up some radio advertising as well.

    It’s too bad though because those Brigade games could be pretty fun. They spent some money, assembled a pretty good team of local celebs to help promote it and their cheerleaders were smoking hot with Jenny Matthews of Mix 93.3 running the show.

    Neil Smith is MIA.

    And (almost) everybody assumed that if they moved from Kemper to Sprint, they’d pack the place.

    Oh yeah, Philadelphia owner Jon Bon Jovi bailed, too

  3. smartman says:

    Fauxtball
    Arena League Football is to sports what inflatable dolls are to sex. I’d rather watch live senior gay male porn from Budapest than watch arena-ball. There isn’t going to be another Kurt Warner or He Hate Me. All I can figure with the soft opening is it must be a good way to launder drug money. When an aging but still trying to remain relevant publicity whore like Jon Bon Jovi bails the grafitti is on the wall.

  4. gametime says:

    5300 was generous
    Some friends and I went to the game last Saturday and had a good time. The football is far from great, but it’s entertaining for what it is. Danni Boatwright-Wiegmann is still there, although she defaulted to calling the team the Brigade in her first appearance of the evening. Stephen St John (I think) does the PA work and does it pretty well. The only major local sponsors I could tell are KU Med and 810.

  5. Hearne Christopher says:

    Thanks. Glad to hear Danni is back. Nothing about her I could find on the team’s Web site and I did not get a returned phone call. I did talk briefly to a secretary about Neil being gone.

    It’s kinda too bad. The kinda got it right there the first time for a little while. There was a buzz. Not sure about the caliber of play but there was a bit of excitement in the air.

    Actually, I’m surprised they came back for a second helping. Just like I’m surprised about the indoor soccer. Might as well throw in the T-Bones. Guess KC is really a junk sports town at heart.

  6. bschloz says:

    Gladiators!
    I always heard Brigade Games were fun.
    2006… Ahhh the good ol’e days. Maybe Andre Rison will come back to town for a tryout.
    Been tooling around P n L since Spring hit….got a kick out of BK Burger Bar moving the $8.50 Whoppers with a fixins bar?
    HeadStart convention was in town last week and BK was empty. Meanwhile Cosentino’s was jammin off the hook, odd no?
    I ended up at new Drunken Fish and thought they were pretty damn good.
    Yesterday– I couldn’t swear but looks like Famous Dave’s was dark. Ted’s Gonzo—wonder when Aramark will take over the whole center?
    I hope the Command draws and brings folks downtown…..KC demo has got to be the best football fans on earth.

  7. craig glazer says:

    Brigade Died Fast
    Stanfords was a sponser one year for the Brigade, they anounced our club on the PA etc..it was a trade out for tix….I went to five games in two years. I am and was friends with their President Neil Smith. Seemed his job was to wear a suit and meet in the cocktail lounge under the areana floor. He is a nice guy and was a great ballplayer.

    This league took off decent about ten years back with Danny White(former Dallas QB) and the Arizona Rattlers. However it simply failed to grow, TV ratings were poor as well, ESPN.

    In KC the crowds fell and fast to 4-6,000 mostly in free. Just no interest in a meaningless league. No name players, no press, just a no show. Simply never got off the real ground.

    Today its a joke, will draw 2-4,000 for free only…Look Sprint has nothing, there almost for sure will never be an NBA team. Sprints big wow is behind them. Less name bands out there, redo’s, no new music groups for the most part, no sports but KU or MU basketball, it will be Kemper in three years. Past it and dead. The areana is and always was gong to fail. NEVER SHOULD HAVE BEEN BUILT THERE. Maybe the Plaza or Johnson county, with a real team, NBA even baseball…in the end it is a stop gap before the Oh yeah didn’t that used to be…..

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  10. Stryder says:

    Sprint Center Not Good for Brigade/Command
    The fall of the Brigade/Command started when they moved from Kemper Arena to the Sprint Center. Everything changed, many of their blue collar fans suddenly felt unappreciated. The cost of being in Sprint was causing their ticket sales department to make moves that left Season Ticket holders feeling cheated, and the cost of parking went up dramatically and killed any real abilities to tailgate. KC P&L District did what they could to lure fans into their businesses, but when it wasn’t working in their favor, dropped the fans and team like a hot rock.

    Arena Football isn’t for everyone. Its a fast paced game that you have to put down your beer and pay attention to.

    As for it being poor marketing … the news got out. The people who have walked away DO NOT LIKE the Sprint Center and the downtown costs.

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