Friday night is the first home game for Augusta’s newest pro sports team: the Augusta Spartans.
The arena football team organized in about two weeks, and the question is already surfacing: will they make it?
The Spartans’ first game starts at 7:05 Friday night against the Florence Phantoms.
Tickets start at seven dollars.
Fans really will determine if the Spartans stick around.
Bill Lesshafft, marketing director for the Spartans, says, “Expect a wild, woolly two and a half hours of football.”
The Augusta Spartans will play their first home game on borrowed astroturf.
This borrowing of a field is making some wonder if the Spartans will need to borrow fans.
General Manager Robby Wells says no way.
“There's been people all over the place that said 'You can't get it done. You can't do that.’ I love it when someone tells me I can't do something, because then I want to go out there and prove them wrong,” he says.
It's been four years since Augusta’s seen arena football.
The Stallions played for three years and reportedly left after they couldn't reach an agreement with the Civic Center.
The Civic Center's current general manager, Larry Rogers, wasn't working for Augusta at that time, but thinks this go round will work for the city's pockets.
“It's certainly going to be an added economic impact. We just don't know how much,” says Rogers.
Fans, of course, are the real key to the Spartans’ success.
The city's other sports team, the lynx, is having trouble finding them.
“I want to bring my kids to see the Augusta Spartans and support the Augusta Spartans,” says Mike Wade. He bought three tickets today and is thrilled to see football back in town.
“You think it will survive? I hope so, I really do,” Wade says. “Augusta needs something like this.”
“We're going to win,” says Wells. “We just need your support and we need everybody to come out and make this the home of the ninth man.”
The Spartans tell me they've ordered their own field and it will be here for the next home game, which is March 24.