Commissioner of the XFL, Oliver Luck, was impressed by the turnout of fans for the St. Louis Battlehawks home opener this past Sunday.
“It was unbelievable,” said Luck to KDSK, “I think this can become something that all Midwesterners can really rally around. It was a great experience and the game hasn’t even started yet!” The Battlehawks home opener drew 29,554 fans and completely sold-out the lower bowl of the Dome at America’s Center.
Last week, local TV ratings soared for the Battlehawks at a Dallas Renegades game, gaining more viewers than a St. Louis Blues game that was happening at the same time, according to KDSK. The Blues won the Stanley Cup last year. (RELATED: XFL Player Opens Up About Depression, Fall From NFL)
Over four years ago, the St. Louis Rams relocated to Las Angeles, leaving St. Louis without a football team. Fans made sure that the return of football was a special one. “The fans were just rabid,” said Battlehawks head coach Johnathan Hayes, “I wanna express my thanks and my team’s thanks to the people that came out. That really ignited our players and got us excited.”
The Battlehawks beat the New York Guardians 29-9. They never trailed in the game thanks to Matt Jones, who had 95 yards and one touchdown, and Christine Michael, who had 44 yards and one touchdown. Not to mention a 58-yard field goal by Taylor Russolino. Casey Sayles even traded a game-used football for a box of thin mints from a young girl in the crowd.
— St. Louis BattleHawks (@XFLBattleHawks) February 23, 2020
“We’ll continue to work hard and open up the upper deck when needed to get more people in here,” Luck said.