A New Revolution: Greensboro Coliseum Announces Indoor Football Team
‘“You say you want a Revolution?’”
Well, one is coming to Greensboro, beginning March 25, in the form of the National Indoor Football League’s newest entry, the Greensboro Revolution.
The Greensboro Coliseum held a press conference at its Carlyle Club to introduce the team to its host city on Jan. 5. As the 150 or so members of the media, sporting community and local dignitaries enjoyed the catered meal, coliseum managing director Matt Brown introduced National Indoor Football League president Carolyn Shiver, team owner Anthony Pewonski, and the Revolution’s director of football operations Chris Simpson.
Shiver, a chemist by profession, is one of the very few women in the world to head up a professional sports league. Referring to the Gate City’s ill-fated venture into indoor football, arena2 football (af2), five years ago, she answered the question that was likely on the minds of many in attendance: Why would indoor football work now when it didn’t then?
‘“Perhaps they simply had a bad business plan,’” she surmised. ‘“The league [which is not affiliated with the NIFL] was young and the product untested. I’m sure the ownership group did everything they could to make it work. We have a model that is tried and true and has proven to work in a variety of markets. We know that Greensboro is an excellent market for this sport and, speaking for both the ownership group and myself, are very excited to be here.’”
While Shiver didn’t allude to it, one of the reasons for the failure of the af2 Prowlers, Greensboro’s previous indoor football team, was that the on-field product was never truly competitive. They still hold the dubious record of once losing a game by 100 points, 103-3.
Pewonski, who is in the process of moving here from Lakeland, Fla. has owned four NIFL teams, two of which have been sold to local operators. His background is in accounting but since making the transition into sports management is now president of Sunshine State Sports Management, LLC, and Centurion Sports Management, LLC.
‘“What I do is develop franchises and sell them,’” he said, ‘“but this one I’m going to keep. I wouldn’t be moving here if I intended to sell it. We intend to make this profitable from the beginning, not several years from now. One of the things we stress is community involvement, and I assure you we will be good corporate citizens and make a positive impact on Greensboro.’”
It was Simpson who, perhaps, made the day’s most poignant comment, saying, ‘“Our foundation is integrity, our cornerstone is character.’”
For the uninformed, indoor football is played on a 50-yard field, roughly the size of a hockey rink, as opposed to the 100-yard gridiron of the NFL. A padded wall separates players from fans, and balls that go into the stands (typically 40 to 50 a game) become the property of the lucky fans who catch them. A team is made up of eight players who play both offense and defense. Punting is not allowed, and games are normally very high-scoring affairs.
Although a coaching staff has not been named nor a schedule announced, seven home games are planned in the Coliseum. Season ticket packages range from $35 to $210, and individual game tickets go from $5 to $35. The regular season runs from late March through late July, with playoffs in August.
The nickname is a nod to the city’s historic past as the site of a famous Revolutionary War battle, the Battle of Guilford Courthouse between the British and Continental armies in 1781. Teams colors are red, white, blue and gold.
‘“We are going to make a difference in the community,’” promised Pewonski, ‘“and put a good product on the field. The Triad deserves it and we are going to provide it.’”
For further information and/or to purchase season tickets call 336.218.5425.