ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – The Duke City Gladiators definitely gave fans a show at the home opener. It just wasn’t the show the fans paid for.
For fan Alen Chernesky, he said he specifically has a love for arena football.
“I had seen games all the way from Albany, Hartford, New York City, New Jersey, Denver, and in Arizona,” said Chernesky.
When Albuquerque got its own team, he couldn’t wait to attend the first home game. In all of the arena football games he’s attended, Chernesky said this one was a new experience.
“Well it almost happened right in front of me,” said Chernesky. “Two linemen started grappling and trying to toss each other around a bit.”
There was a huge brawl between the Gladiators and their opponent, an all-star team from Mexico, right before half time.
“It’s a Gladiators game so you’re going to get some excitement and fight,” said General Manager, Matthew Caward. “You know football is an emotional game.”
Three Mexico players got kicked out and fans were left waiting as teams headed to the locker room.
“I felt slighted that they announced there would be a second half and I sat there for half an hour and it never came,” said Chernesky.
Caward said both teams would’ve continued, but the referees felt it was unsafe.
“We would love for our fans to see an entire game,” said Coward.
Fans like Chernesky said he would like to see fans get into another game without cost, but Caward said the ticket prices are already as low as they can go. Caward said they’re still working on how to make it up to fans.
“We’re still talking about the possibility of giving some freebies or give some extra throw outs and keep encouraging them to come back,” said Howard.
Overall, Howard said he’s not worried about seeing a decrease in fans. He said they’ve all been incredibly supportive.
“We’ve said it from the beginning that this is Albuquerque’s team,” said Caward. “We are big believers in this being the Duke’s City team.”