Fasten your chin strap. An indoor professional football team says it’s coming to the Ford Idaho Center.
The Idaho Horsemen will kick off next year, according to gohorsemen.com, the team’s website. Season tickets are on sale. Cheerleader tryouts are scheduled next month.
There’s just one hitch.
The Idaho Center is still standing on the sideline.
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“Things are very preliminary,” Idaho Center General Manager Tim Savona says. “From our end, we’ve had open dialogue with them over the last year. We’ve expressed our interest in hosting them and our desire to be their home, and we’re kind of awaiting further information.
“We would love to figure it out. We would love to have them.”
The certainty of the Horsemen’s future fluctuates depending on its web presence. “We are looking to begin play in 2019,” the team says on its Twitter page. That is less definitive than “Our inaugural season will start February of 2019” on its website or “We will play our home games at the Ford Idaho Center” on Facebook.
Either way, the Horsemen are actively recruiting community support. Two-year “Preferred Posse” season pass vouchers are available for $250 online. Platinum Events & Security LLC, the organization behind the Horsemen, needs to buy equipment before the season starts in 13 months. Games require turf. Players need padded sideline barriers to crash into.
Owner and general manager Chris Reynolds declined an interview for now when I reached out via the Idaho Horsemen’s Facebook page. He asked for more time.
(Sorry, man. I run a hurry-up offense.)
To take its first snap, this team has work to do — and fast. It’s only first down, but it’s first-and-long.
What football league would the Horsemen play in? The website provides a hint. There’s YouTube video of the Indoor Football League (IFL), home of the Arizona Rattlers, Sioux Falls Storm and Green Bay Blizzard. (Wha — ? It won’t be Vince McMahon’s big-time XFL? Meh. That doesn’t start until 2020, anyway. And XFL games will be outdoors, right? I’m not even sure.)
Who would the Horsemen players be? Pony up $200 or $300 a game, and you’ll find athletes. Former Boise State standouts would be smart marketing. Yo, Jared Zabransky, Ian Johnson. Grab some pads, studs. You’re still centuries younger than Tom Brady.
The Horsemen’s roster already lists one player, and he sounds like a beast: “Johnny Quarterback,” a 6-foot-5, 210-pounder who played for BSU. He has four years of NFL experience and three in the IFL.
Even if all the organizational challenges are addressed, a Big Question looms above Nampa.
Would Idaho support an indoor pro football team?
Savona is hopeful.
“I like the opportunity for us,” he says. “... There’s no product like it right now in the Valley. Even more specifically, there’s no team to get behind in this part of town.”
He’s talking about 2C, city slickers. Nampa.
For the Horsemen to thrive, there would need to be Boise buy-in, too.
In 1999, the Idaho Stallions arena team launched at the Idaho Center. A year later, it relocated to Boise in what is now CenturyLink Arena. The team went kaput in 2001.
The Boise Burn indoor team lasted three years in the same Downtown Boise venue — pulling in 4,100 fans per game during its final season in 2009.
Boise sports fans can be unpredictable.
We don’t sell out Albertsons Stadium for our nationally ranked college football team.
We do turn out in relative droves for the Idaho Steelheads, our minor-league hockey team.
We talk of a new Downtown stadium for the Boise Hawks, our Class A short season baseball squad.
We barely showed up for NBA Development League basketball. Consequently, the Idaho Stampede took their ball and went home to Salt Lake City in 2016.
Still, indoor football is fun. It’s fast-paced. There would be beer.
Should we grab our pom-poms, put on our skimpy outfits and join the Lady Spurs cheerleaders rooting for the Idaho Horsemen?
Savona sounds like he’s game.
“Like I say, we’d love to have it,” he says. “I hope it works out.”
“I think Kurt Warner’s on board to coach,” he adds with a laugh.
Spread that rumor. The Horsemen could use the season-ticket voucher sales.
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