Panthers' progress seems slow but steady - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Panthers' progress seems slow but steady

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By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) – Albany's new professional football team isn't drawing crowds as large the South Georgia Wildcats did, but that isn't discouraging to team management or city leaders.

 

 

They say the team is still drawing thousands of people to each game. Considering they only had two months to plan for the season, they say that's pretty good.

With four seasons left on the contract, they expect to do even better in the years ahead.

Whenever there's a big play, you can count on the fans to cheer on the Albany Panthers. But there are fewer fans watching the games than when the Wildcats played in this arena.   "The attendance could always be better. I mean, you always want to sell out, that's the bottom line, you want to sell out,"  said Will Carter, Panthers General Manager.

But the Panthers are far from that, at least right now. But that's to be expected, says General Manager Will Carter. The team was organized in only two months, not leaving much time for marketing the schedule.

He said, "You had two months to go out and get sponsors, season ticket holders. There was a point fans didn't know if we were going to have a team or not and nothing was truly final until the end of January."

Plus, the schedule, which includes games on holiday weekends is tough and was put together at a moment's notice. Considering the grueling schedule and brief turn around time, Assistant City Manager Wes Smith says the Panthers, even with low ticket sales, are doing well.

"Considering how little time we had to set up, I'm pretty happy where we're at."

And moving forward, there are plans to take the team, and its fan following to a new level.  "As far as arena football in Albany, it just works," said Panther staffer Carrie Council.

And as long as the fans keep coming, nats, and the sponsors continue to support it, it will keep working in Albany. The final home game for the Albany Panthers is on May 29th, unless of course, they make it into playoffs, which is possible since the team is undefeated.

Even after the season ends, the Panthers have plans for the summer, including camps and concerts.

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