Growing the BattleHawks fandom in St. Louis

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ST. LOUIS – St. Louis’ newest professional sports team has its first game this Sunday and the city is getting fired up about the BattleHawks.

The BattleHawks are doing everything they can to grow the fan base.

Mark Taylor, director of marketing for the St. Louis XFL franchise, is working with 66 area sports bars where fans can gather to watch the BattleHawks game on television.

Taylor spent the day distributing BattleHawks paraphernalia, including coasters, koozies, t-shirts, and giant banners to hang in every sports bar. While the team tries to create new fans, local bars are hoping there’s a payoff for them.

“The Blues playoffs, they brought a lot of business in,” said Neal Humiston, general manager of Syberg’s in Arnold. “We expect to get a good crowd with the BattleHawks game as well and it’s just good for business and we like having them.”

Football fans like Mike Tosto are warming up to the idea.

“I’m glad. St. Louis deserves a football team,” he said. “It’s horrible what the NFL did to us leaving because we have the greatest fans in the world.”

Meanwhile, Dick’s Sporting Goods is selling BattleHawks jerseys, t-shirts, and caps.

“I love professional football. In fact, it’s my favorite sport. I hope it works. I hated when the Rams left I really, really did,” said football fan Terry Joggerst.

They’ll paint the field at The Dome at America’s Center with the new BattleHawks logo on February 20. The team’s first home is three days later.


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