April 28, 2013

Trying to get on solid ground

Rampage face challenges of any small business in tough economy


Monday night wars

One of the things Smith is hoping for — aside from more advertisers and sponsors — is better dates for games. All of the Rampage’s home games during the regular season have been on Monday nights. He believes attendance is affected.

“I think maybe that has affected people coming out and trying it that one time,” he said. “Maybe if we had some Fridays or Saturdays, then people will come out and try it and enjoy it.”

Haines said Tuesday is the worst night for games and Monday follows. Both Haines and Smith said that if a weekend date is unavailable, then Thursday is the best night.

“If you really look at it, people aren’t drawing more fans on a Monday night,” Haines said. “People work. People have school. There’s less people that go out. We played a Monday night game in Missouri and it was our worst-attended game.”

The Monsters’ first game, played on a weekend, had 4,097 in attendance. Their second game was on a Monday and attracted some 1,600 people.

“We’ve played a few Friday nights, a few Saturday nights, one Sunday and one Monday,” he said. “Our goal next year is to get all Fridays and Saturdays.”

However, booking home games is a two-way street. The trade center is part of the process.

“I’m hoping they work with us and give us some weekend spots,” Smith said, noting he wants it “without a significant increase in rent.

“That would be nice. I’m sure it will be some. We’ve reached out to them for that, so we’ll see what happens.”

Phipps said it comes down to availability for those weekend slots.

“From the financial side, I think maybe a few weekend dates along with a different weekday is what makes sense,” he said. “Saturdays are a premium day, but at this point we’re looking at purely availability.”

Haines said the relationship with the home arena is one of the most important parts of an indoor football team’s success.

“They really have to be in a building that wants them and want to be in a deal that wants a win-win for both, not just one-sided,” he said. “We have it in St. Charles, which is why I’m there, but it’s tough to find. They’re all in it for themselves and want the money.”

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