February 22, 2006
Albany -- The arena football team was met with a lot of skepticism last year because of Albany's poor track record with professional athletics. But it appears things are looking up.
Wildcats season tickets sales are already higher than last year, and the season doesn't start for another month and a half. Managing Partner Mike Storen says they proved arena football could not only survive in Albany, but it could thrive.
The South Georgia Wildcats may not have won many games, but the team's first season was still a success. "It's very clear people enjoyed eight nights a great entertainment, and they are coming back," Mike Storen said.
The team boasts one of the largest attendance levels in the league, with almost 7,000 fans a game on average. And 90% of last year's season ticket holders renewed their tickets. "We haven't had a single cancellation where the customer said 'We're not happy,'" Storen said.
And the team has already sold more season tickets than last year, with more than a month until the first game. "Last year, people would say 'Are you really going to play a game? Is it really going to be fun? Are you going to play the whole season? are you going to be back?'"
"This year, people want to talk about who's going to play quarterback, what the record is going to be."
In just one season, the Wildcats managed to change the public's attitude towards professional sports in Albany and won a lot of fans along the way.
The Wildcats also lead the AFL-II in corporate sponsorship last year and was near the top of the league in overall revenue.
The Wildcats kick off their season at home, April 8th against the Tennessee Valley Vipers.