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RestedTraveler

Arena Football in Greenville

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Will Arena Football ever return to the Bi-Lo Center?

We've already had a couple of Arena Football Teams call Greenville Home:

  • CarolinaRhinos1.GIF
  • Team: The Carolina Rhinos

  • League: AF2

  • Seasons: 3

  • Years: 2000-2002

  • Record: 27-22

  • GreenvilleRiverhawks.GIF
  • Team: The Greenville Riverhawks

  • League: NIFL

  • Seasons: 1 (Shortened)

  • Years: 2004

  • Record: 0-4

**The NIFL Greenville Riverhawks' 2004 season ended after 4 games and before they could play even one at the Bi-Lo Center.

I'm wondering what our chances are of ever having Arena Football return to the Bi-Lo Center. What factors led to the demise of the Carolina Rhinos? Why did the Riverhawks fail to take flight in Greenville? What things were done poorly in both situations and what could be done to improve a team's viability in this market?

Any thoughts?

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I know many people who are wondering the exact same thing. In the Rhino's case, it was a colapse within the entire league. If our minor league sports were publicized everywhere in and around town, I don't think it would be so difficult to get people in to watch. I often wonder who will take the next big step to bring major sporting events/venues into Greenville. Scheer did a mamoth amount of work to get the Bi-Lo Center and hockey team from dream into reality, but his days here seem to be over. We need progressive-minded individuals in positions of power at the City government level to take the lead. Other than that, I suppose it wouldn't hurt to form a petition by citizens desiring more sports options year-round. ;)

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I'd actually love to see a professional indoor soccer team in Greenville. Of course I'd really love to see an MLS team here as well... :D

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Having two failures, I do not know if Greenville's capable of having a future arena football team. There must be enough interest to support it and strongwilled leaders to organize an effort to land a franchise.

Is there still interest in arena football?

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Definitely some interest, but I can't guage the level overall. :unsure:

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I wonder if Greenville can handle an AFL team.

Idea: Upstart a regional arena football league with teams in Asheville, Charleston, Charlotte, Columbia, Fayetteville, Greenville, Myrtle Beach and Raleigh. If the new league has instant success and all franchises are stable into the first two seasons, expand into Georgia and Virginia.

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I think part of the problem with residents supporting these teams is the stigma of them being "minor league" teams. It's not that our teams are not talented, because they usually are. They also tend to be quite competitive. The experience of attending is fun, and I do not think the cost is a prohibitive factor most of the time. Most people simply don't care enough to get behind a team that they consider to be at a lower level of competition. Whether that is right or not, I don't know.

I do think, however, that a city's support (or lack of support) for a minor league team probably has little correlation to how it would support a professional team of the highest level (e.g., NFL, NBA, NHL, etc.).

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Having two failures, I do not know if Greenville's capable of having a future arena football team. There must be enough interest to support it and strongwilled leaders to organize an effort to land a franchise.

Is there still interest in arena football?

I think the problem is that there is little interest in arena football. It seems like this sport is being forced on people. It isn't exactly a 'phenomenon' that came out of nowhere.... its more like a sport that was invented specifically to make money. With other sports (baseball, basketball, etc), they are about having fun or a challenge (well, in their beginings anyway).

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I when to a few of the Rhino

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If the team could somehow represent the Greenville community, rather than something like the "Rhinos," I would think success could be found. Publicity is the key and people need to feel intimately connected with the team, IMO.

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Football is VERY important to the Upstate.

Tens of thousands attend high school games on Friday night, spending hundreds a year.

Tens of thousands attend games at Clemson, South Carolina, Georgia, Furman, etc. I would expect somewhere in the nieghborhood of 50 to 60 thousand Greenville county residents are in Pickens, Richland, and Clarke (GA) counties at Div. I football games on Saturday's in the fall.

For college ball, some spend hundreds. Others tens of thousands on parking, seating, tailgating, traveling to away games. A Clemson IPTAY member will spend, on average, over $1,500.00 at minimum to attend a season's home schedule at Death Valley, add extra if he wants to go to a bowl game or a road contest, which many thousands do. Same for USC or Georgia or for a few thousand, Furman. All these big time programs are under tremendous pressure to increase ticket and booster club prices, which the fan is stepping up, however reluctantly, to pay.

Greenville is within a hundred mile radius of three football stadiums that average seating over 80,000.

For those faithful football fans who want more, the Carolina Panthers and the Atlanta Falcons are a two hour drive away.

Adding minor league, indoor football to this mix is a terribly difficult sale. For many folks, either their football loyalties are already decided, or its very, very hard to convince the football fan consumer to add one more entry to his busy and expensive spectator sport hobby.

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Good points, whitehourseview. That is why I think that it will take a professional team of the highest level (e.g., NFL football) to win over Greenville residents. While I am sure Greenville will not be a realistic NFL candidate for quite some time, I do think we would support a team fairly well. What do you guys think?

Just for fun, where would the Greenville NFL franchise build its stadium? Is there any space downtown, or would it need to be somewhere else?

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Didn't the second team fold becuase the team onwer got in a spat witht he Bilo center owners and he decided not to allow them to play at the Bilo center?

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Good points, whitehourseview. That is why I think that it will take a professional team of the highest level (e.g., NFL football) to win over Greenville residents. While I am sure Greenville will not be a realistic NFL candidate for quite some time, I do think we would support a team fairly well. What do you guys think?

Just for fun, where would the Greenville NFL franchise build its stadium? Is there any space downtown, or would it need to be somewhere else?

Hmmmm! Interesting!

I can't think of a good place anywhere downtown! Midtown would be a cool place for sure, but there's no room! Actually the absolute best place would be the LEC! That would be an awesome sight driving into Greenville. You could some how manage parking around this area I'd think... The Point would be a cool place for it too-- I just remember the renderings from the proposed new G-Braves stadium along 85... it was awesome. There'd be great exposure, large amount of room for parking (MAYBE? depending on development in the area), but we all know that that's not what Woodruff Road needs. haha

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I'd like to see more development out to the west on West Washington Street, McBee Avenue, and Westfield Street. There is plenty of untapped potential in that portion of downtown.

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I just saw a flyer in some store the other day saying this summer minor league football was coming to Greenville. It said it was real football not arena league. I can't remember the name of the team though.

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I found this. Looks like they'll play in the NAFL and home field is at Southside HS. Here's hoping mass popularity ensues and they build their own stadium downtown.

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I've been looking at their website and just have to say this is the exact opposite of what I would expect from a semi pro sports team in what appears to be a reputable league. I wish them luck and hope they can make it work. That being said, I have my doubts.

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I could be wrong, but I believe the Greenville Greyhounds have been around at least three or four years. I'm surprised y'all haven't heard of them by now. They used to play at Sirrine Stadium, too, if I recall correctly? :unsure: They're not Arena Football though, but are still worth mentioning.

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I could be wrong, but I believe the Greenville Greyhounds have been around at least three or four years. I'm surprised y'all haven't heard of them by now. They used to play at Sirrine Stadium, too, if I recall correctly? :unsure: They're not Arena Football though, but are still worth mentioning.

Last year they played down at Sterling Field near St. Francis Hospital. We used to have to share time with them for Rugby down there.

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They have indeed been in Greenville for a couple of years. I remember seeing them on a TV news story sometime back when they were just starting up. It was the same name as well. :thumbsup:

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Wow, I can't believe they've been around that long and had never heard of them. I'm ready to see a game now!!! Anything to keep me at bay until Clemson football starts back up!

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I hear ya. The Upstate is buzzing with various university flags flapping in the wind every Fall. It would be nice to see that more often. :thumbsup:

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