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."