A Rapper, A Lawmaker and Football, Oh My

By Melissa Villarin, SacMidtown.com

I’m a sports nut at heart, so when I heard there was a professional football team in Sacramento, I had to check it out. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the Mountain Lions or the UFL, but was pleasantly surprised with the combination of football, entertainment and reasonable prices. Here’s a little play-by-play of my experience.

For those of you who don’t know, the games are played at Hornet Stadium at Sac State. The field is really nice, but I didn’t get that “big league” feel. Maybe it was the metal bleachers or the food tents. It just kind of felt like a college football game, not that there is anything wrong with that, I guess I thought a UFL game would feel like a bigger deal.

I did a quick lap around the stadium to check out what else it had to offer. There was a variety of food tents, some beer tents and giveaway tents, then I found a spot right next to the end zone where a giant inflatable helmet sits. The spot is great for to hang out and watch the players practice.

It could also double as a star-sighting spot. I was only there for about 10 minutes, when none other than Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House, walked right by me. But by the time I grabbed my camera she was being whisked away into a VIP tent. I wondered why she was at the game, maybe she’s a huge football fan? Turns out, Pelosi’s husband owns part of the team.

With about 15 minutes until the game started, I decided to try a couple of food booths. There was quite a selection, from hot dogs to crepes. And despite the college feel, the food prices were more like what you would find at a big league stadium. A hot dog was $4, an order of fries $5, and a soda was $3. But I can’t complain too much, it all tasted great.

I found my seat just in time to watch a little bit of a marching band perform and the mini fireworks show that accompanied the national anthem. And with that, it was game on. It was great to see how hyped the fans were, many sporting their MoLo jerseys (yes that’s the team’s nickname, short for Mountain Lions).

Daunte Culpepper was by far the most popular of the jerseys, and the biggest name on the field. As I continued to look around, I noticed the game seemed to be a family affair. There were several large groups of families and other groups made up of just kids, and all were cheering every pass completion or run for extra yards. Those cheers would get even louder anytime there was a t-shirt giveaway or a crowd shot on the big video screen.

When it was time for the halftime show, you could feel a bit of a buzz in the air. And it was all thanks to one of the biggest names in rap music, Flo Rida. The Grammy nominated artist performed some of his top hits, such as “Low” and “Right Round.” A lucky group of fans was allowed on the field to sing along. At that point it was clear to me, Culpepper wasn’t the only big name bringing people into the stadium.

The game continued, and so did the entertainment. There were more t-shirt and prize giveaways. And Mojo the mascot made his way through the crowd and helped pump up the fans.

So it looks like it’s so far so good for the UFL in Sacramento, from this fan’s perspective. The stadium is easy to get to, there’s a lot to keep fans entertained and ticket prices are reasonable, ranging from $15 to $35 dollars. Around 19,000 fans turned out for Friday’s game and from what I saw, many were already planning to be at the next home game October 30.

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Posted by on Oct 19 2010. Filed under Sports, What To Do. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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