The "Danger" level reaches new heights in Grand Island. A sellout crowd and big win make the Nebraska Danger the envy of the Indoor Football League, despite some first game mistakes off the field, including a ticket mix up.
Quick strikes gave Nebraska's new team an early 20- 0 lead, erasing doubt fans had about the investment they'd made in a team that until then hadn't played a single down.
Josh Casey said, "As soon as the first guy got slammed into the walls next to us, we decided it was worth season tickets. Definitely we'll be back."
Casey's buddies got season tickets, unsure how the team would fare in Grand Island.
"Seeing how everyone rallied behind the State Fair I was really excited to see the turnout for this and they didn't disappoint at all," he said.
Grand Island's got buzz, according to General Manager Mike McCoy.
He said, "I just looked at the crowd and said, 'wow'."
The crowd of 5,500 is the only sellout in the league, plus the team earned a win in its first game.
McCoy said, "We beat the two time defending conference champs last night, so was a great feeling for everybody."
There were glitches. Some fans had tickets for seats that didn't exist. McCoy had to get on a mic broadcasting on the arena's speakers to correct clock and audio errors, while wrangling people involved in promotions.
He said, "We had the whole thing scripted and checklists, but when you're working with so many people and promotions coming on and there's so many people involved it becomes a traffic problem."
Nothing that can't be corrected, fans like Josh Casey say, showing grace to an organization they want to succeed in their hometown.
"It was wonderful to drive five minutes, go to something for three hours and have a riot with
the rest of the community," he said.
In a letter to fans, owner Charlie Bosselman credits fans for a what he calls a loud and electric atmosphere.
He asks that anyone who had a ticket mix up through the Heartland Events Center to call so they can get it resolved.
Reporter's Notes by Steve White:
The game was played after a full day of snowfall. Despite the weather, there were few no-shows. Most seats were filled.
The Danger beat the Wichita Wild 70-59, after going up 20-0 early. At the end of the first half, the Wild returned a kick and after a few laterals as time expired, the ball popped loose, and a scramble ensued, with the Danger recovering for a touchdown.
Here is the letter Charlie Bosselman wrote to fans:
The Nebraska Danger and Bosselman, Inc. would like to thank all the fans who turned out for our opening game of the Danger's inaugural season and our first win on Monday, March 7! The atmosphere and support you provided was amazing - loud and electric! We really felt your presence on the field!
We can truly say that we have THE best fans in the league – thanks to your support the Danger is the only team in the entire IFL league with a sellout crowd thus far! Thank you again for helping us kick-off our season with such a warm, outstanding welcome – let's keep that tradition going like true Nebraska football!
While it was a great night of football and fun, it has come to our understanding that the Heartland Events Center experienced a glitch with some tickets and seating. If you were one of the fans affected by this, we'd like to hear from you so that we can resolve this issue quickly. Please contact Mike McCoy, General Manager of the Nebraska Danger at 308-381-2942. We'll need to know the section, row, and seat(s) you were initially assigned, and Danger Staff will personally handle any issues with tickets or seating. We appreciate your patience and understanding while we work out these first game hiccups.
Thank you again Nebraska Danger Fans, and the entire community for all of your overwhelming support! We look forward to seeing you again at upcoming games! GO DANGER!!!
Owner, Nebraska Danger Indoor Professional Football Team