October 17, 2011 - United Football League (UFL)
JACKSONVILLE, FL - Monday, October 17, 2011 - Virginia will host the 2011 United Football League Championship Game on Friday, October 21, when the hometown Destroyers face the two-time defending champion Las Vegas Locos at 8pm EDT.
The UFL will move up the third annual Championship Game that will feature its two 3-1 teams, while the 1-3 Omaha Nighthawks and 1-3 Sacramento Mountain Lions will play in a consolation game at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha on Friday, October 21, also at 7pm CDT / 8pm EDT.
Head Coach MARTY SCHOTTENHEIMER'S Virginia team has locked up a berth in the season finale with a 3-1 record despite losing 27-20 in overtime at Sacramento on Saturday night. In addition to the on-field success, the Destroyers attracted home attendances of 12,167 and 12,617 and have more than 8,500 social media followers, meeting the criteria required to influence the choice of venue for the 2011 title game.
The Locos will look to secure an unprecedented hat trick of UFL crowns under head coach JIM FASSEL, whose team narrowly won 13-6 against the Nighthawks in Omaha on Saturday night to improve to 3-1.
"The Hampton Roads region will be the perfect venue for our season showpiece and has earned the right to host the game and we are certain football fans will pack the Virginia Beach Sportsplex," said UFL Commissioner MICHAEL HUYGHUE. "The Virginia market has been a great success for the UFL in terms of attendance and social media interaction and of course having a winning team on the field, so we are rewarding Virginia with the right to host the game.
"Our two top teams are playing in the Championship Game next week and at 3-1 they are deadlocked with the best record, so are deserving finalists. They in large part have a three-year grudge match going on by virtue of Virginia having many former Florida Tuskers players. I am confident this game will be another spectacular close to our third season."
Destroyers owner BILL MAYER added: "We are delighted that the Virginia Destroyers have been recognized for our early success both on and off the field in the relatively short history of the organization. We are excited that fans will get to see our team take on the perennial champion of the UFL in what will be a very close and physical game on Friday night."
UFL founder and owner BILL HAMBRECHT, who is also the Locos owner, said: "This strategy of moving straight to the Championship Game is the best means by which to take the UFL forward. We faced many challenges during the offseason, but were still able to kick off our third season.
"The focus on building a blueprint for the long-term success of the league begins immediately with plans to expand to a minimum of six teams for the 2012 season."
The Mountain Lions and Nighthawks played out a thrilling game in Week 2 of the season in Sacramento when JOE MOGLIA'S visiting Omaha team edged a 33-30 decision with a last second field goal to defeat DENNIS GREEN'S Mountain Lions. They will meet again this Friday, October 21 in Omaha where 17,697 fans packed into TD Ameritrade Park in Week 5 as the Nighthawks lost another close game to Las Vegas.
"While I am disappointed that we are not participating in the Championship game we are looking forward to hosting this week's game against Sacramento," said Moglia. "Omaha has been a great partner for the UFL and we expect to finish our season on a high note."
Mountain Lions team owner PAUL PELOSI added: "Naturally we are disappointed to not play a full season and would have liked to have matched our success and progress with more wins on the field. The last game played between the two teams was nail biting until the final second and I am sure this clash will be just as exciting.
"We are proud of the fact that we led the league in attendance this season and have enjoyed great fan support for the Mountain Lions in our market."
A sell out crowd of 19,938 packed into Hornet Stadium for the team's home opener on September 17 as the UFL set a new league record for highest combined Week 1 attendance when 35,774 fans came through the turnstiles. Sacramento also drew an impressive 17,612 for its second home game and 18,794 this past weekend for overtime win over Virginia.
Fans who have purchased tickets for cancelled games will be offered full refunds. In both Virginia and Omaha, fans may use tickets for the originally scheduled home games for admission to the UFL Championship Game and consolation game.