Fans in Fayetteville are ready for the Stars to light up on Saturday night
Arkansas Stars running back Chrys Chukwuma knows the city of Fayetteville. And by now, either by Razorback sharp memory or in his new found fame as a stellar performer and employee of this newly expanded team in the National Indoor Football League, the fans in Fayetteville are aware of him, too. One way or another, the 6'1" 235 former Arkansas Razorback, one of the all time Top Ten rushers in the school's history, will get your attention. And that's what he wants these days, the attention of every football fan for miles and miles around. Those fans whom, according to him "are really into high scoring, fast paced and hard hitting football. Some qualities of the outdoor, NFL style- of -play, with the lightning speed and finesse that the indoor game is known for. I think I know the average fan in this football crazy city, and I can surely say that if they give this new game a chance, it's the type of football that'll get talked about the next day at work or at school and the type of game fans will want to come back to see again and again."
The Arkansas Stars of the NIFL open the 2006 home schedule on Saturday night against the Charleston Sandsharks. Kick-Off is slated for 8 p.m. at the team's new venue, the Randal Tyson Track Center. And Chukwuma, also employed by the team as the Assistant VP of Sales, is glad to be pulling double duty. "Everywhere I go, everyone I talk to, I'm telling them about how much fun this indoor game really is, the quality of player you'll find on the field, the pre-game and half-time entertainment, and especially the affordable ticket prices. It's fan friendly in every way, tickets, parking, concessions, you name it."
With as many as nine former Razorbacks on the current Stars roster, the team has a local flavor that. according to Stars' head coach Raymond House, is important in the initial stages. "One of the aspects of the NFL game that sets it aside from other leagues is the fact that the players are recognized, many are household names, so to speak. The fans know them, the kid's look up to them, and that helps attendance. With our ties to Arkansas football, we're hoping that some of that will shift over to what we're trying to accomplish, and that's simply to get fans in the seats and excited about this football team."
After a tough opening game loss to the Beaumont Drillers, in what House called, "a great first effort for this team, a game we lost only in the last 40 seconds," the Stars go up against a Charleston team that finds itself in the exact same situation as the Arkansas Stars some two weeks ago. "They come in for their first taste of life in the NIFL. It's their first game, just as it was for us two weeks ago. We have the advantage of playing in front of our home fans. They've seen game film on us, we have nothing from them, no film, no scouting report, nothing. But I know this game will be like our debut in Beaumont. Tough, hard fought, exciting. I'm just prepared for the outcome to be a little different for us this time around."
NIFL President Carolyn Shiver says the Stars have done everything right since the charter was granted, allowing them into the 24 team league, now in it's seventh season of play. "The venue is in place, the tickets printed and easily accessible to the fans, and the team has done the little things that help it embrace the community and vice-versa. The Little Stars Kids Club, for example. Parents, for a small fee, can sign up their youngsters ages one through twelve for all kinds of fun, team related activity, including Kids Club T-Shirts and Arkansas Stars Club I.D. The team and the cheerleaders have made appearances around the area at places like Garfield's and TGI Fridays. Fans have gotten a chance to meet the team, talk about the game, and find out about all that's in store for them this season at a Stars NIFL game. It's gonna be fun in Fayetteville."
Tickets for all Arkansas Stars 2006 home games, including Saturday's home opener, can be bought on-line at www.arkansasstars.com or at the Randal Tyson Track Center box office. Tickets can also be purchased at Threads Embroidery and Screen Printing in Bentonville and at the Northwest Arkansas Mall in Fayetteville.
Pre-purchased tickets for Saturdays' home opener will be available at the Will Call windows.
For all team related information on the Arkansas Stars of the National Indoor Football League, visit the team website at www.arkansasstars.com
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