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Louisville gets "Fired Up"

October 11, 2007 - arenafootball2 (af2) - Louisville Fire News Release

LOUISVILLE, KY - The Louisville Fire Arena Football organization announced Thursday, their intentions of staying in Louisville as they set their sights on the AFL.

Earlier in the year majority Fire owner Will Wolford announced benchmarks, in season ticket sales and team ownership investments, needed to be met in order for the Fire to remain successful in the city of Louisville. With a new roster of owners and season ticket holders, the Fire is ready to bring their business to a new level in arena football. "It was always a goal of mine to move the Fire to the AFL with a definite plan for a new arena and I feel now is the best time to begin the process" said Wolford about moving the Fire from the af2 to the AFL. Even with the AFL in their sights, the move is contingent on the ongoing development and building of the new riverfront arena scheduled to open in 2010.

New Ownership Group

A crucial element needed for the ambitious plans of the Fire included an expanded ownership group. In the style of the Green Bay Packers the Fire sold shares of the team growing from 14 owners a year ago to almost 40 at present day. Part of the structure of the core business was altered adding an executive ownership board headed by owner-operator Janice Watts, Dow Huffman and Wolford. "The board was established in order to increase communication throughout the ownership group and for business operational needs" explained Watts. Even though the Fire surpassed their initial goal of selling 500 shares there are still share investment opportunities available. For more information please contact Janice Watts at 502-368-0009.

Leadership

With such bold plans the Fire needed a seasoned veteran to lead the team to success off the field. Dave Berryman, previously with the 2007 American Conference Champions Wilkes-Barre Pioneers, was named the President/General Manager bringing years of professional sport experience to the organization. Dave's accomplishments include a 2002 ArenaCup championship with the Peoria Pirates, President/COO of the AFL Orlando Predators in addition to his professional hockey interests. Two of Dave's teams established attendance records in the af2 and East Coast Hockey League.

On the field, the Fire found success over the years with head coach Tommy Johnson at the helm. Johnson recently extended his contract with the Fire going into his eighth season as he battles for an ArenaCup championship. "Development of our players is important to me because I want them to reach their goals and it is partially my responsibility to help them get there" said Johnson about why he feels developing his players is as important as winning a championship.

Game Experience

The 2008 Fire schedule will be released in November and fans will be pleasantly surprised to see approximately 2,000 additional seats, in the south end zone, bringing the fan experience closer to the game. "Over the years we have listened to the feedback from our fans and found increased interest in adding the seats to the end zone allowing more fans to be closer to the game" said Fire ticket manager Adam Luken on why seats were added.

Season tickets are available by calling 502-368-0009. For more information about the Fire please contact Matt Heitzmann at matt@louisvillefirefootball.com.

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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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