ST. LOUIS – The BattleHawks are living the high life in the city of St. Louis, and popularity of the team seems to have risen to a level that is too much to handle.
The team’s first home game to be played in The Dome is now a sellout at 28,000 fans. The sellout is for the entire lower bowl, and BattleHawks president Kurt Hunzeker says they aren’t going to open the upper bowl.
In essence, the BattleHawks will turn away paying fans, even though there are perfectly good seats available. However, the BattleHawks front office feels there are good reasons, mainly logistical, but also aesthetics.
“The upper deck, logistical issues involved there. A lot of it is customer service, a lot of it is manpower, a lot from an aesthetic standpoint,” Hunzeker explained. “We’re going to dim out the upstairs. People will see an intimate environment, which is what the XFL wanted. A great game experience and having 28,000 fans on top of the action.”
Last week, Seattle set the XFL 2020 attendance record with just over 29,000 fans in CenturyLink Field. Now, with St. Louis capping their attendance at 28,000, Seattle’s record is safe.
Other than missing a chance for a statistical win, you would think the BattleHawks front office must feel they are missing an opportunity to introduce additional St. Louis fans to their special “fan friendly” game day experience.
In addition to limiting the amount of fans that can take in the opening game, the BattleHawks are also limiting the number of media representatives that are being credentialed for the game.
“We had our only St. Louis reporter denied credentials because we were told that the media demand was far greater than they could manage,” XFLBoard.com senior editor Mark Nelson said. “We understand the limitations they have, but this makes it hard for us to cultivate a good relationship with St. Louis. In fact, we have noticed all along that they seem to be too busy to deal with even the smallest request.”
Nelson also said that XFLBoard.com, which features a large number of player stories, is having trouble arranging interviews through the St. Louis team.
“Our requests are wholly unfulfilled,” Nelson said. “We simply stopped asking. This is mainly why you don’t see a lot of BattleHawks players on our podcast, or featured in stories on our pages. We can’t connect with them effectively.”
Apparently, the “Belle of the Ball” St. Louis BattleHawks has such a full dance card that they can’t make time for everyone.
More missed opportunities.