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Old 06-01-2008, 09:13 PM   #1
UNI Fight
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Default Iowa Barnstormers

I just went to my first Barnstormer game since 1997 (when I was 11 years old) and I just have to say what a great football experience, especially because of all the former Panthers! If you live in the DSM area and haven't been to a stormer game, you have got to go check it out! Terrence Freeney scored the games first touchdown (he plays both sides of the ball). Tanner Varner plays safety, Mike Matthes plays OL/DL, Danny Triplett is playing LB but he's hurt, and Charles Johnson (an NU high alum) is playing OL/DL.

Varner had a huge knock down on a 2pt. conversion attempt by the Quad City Steamwheelers and the announcer says "oh and by the way fans, he played for the university of northern iowa!!" And everyone cheered. They love the Iowa boys on the Barnstormers! It was a great time, I encourage anyone in central Iowa, or anyone who wants to see some Panthers playing arena ball!
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Old 06-02-2008, 07:25 AM   #2
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Default Re: Iowa Barnstormers

Haven't made it to the game but for those who have Media Com they have been carrying the home games on TV. They do look like fun.
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Old 06-02-2008, 07:40 AM   #3
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Default Re: Iowa Barnstormers

That place is a total nuthouse, it's a great time. Take the family...the kids might learn a new word or two, but all-in-all it's a wild experience.

They do need to bring their 'gameday' operations crew, especially their PA announcer, up to the UNI-Dome and have PR and co. show them how it's done. They make you appreciate how PR can do so much by saying relatively little, and the whole UNI pregame experience is timed down to the minute. The stormers don't have that figured out yet.
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Old 06-02-2008, 08:46 AM   #4
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Default Re: Iowa Barnstormers

I think it's UNI night at the Barnstormers on June 21st!
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Old 06-05-2008, 10:34 PM   #5
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Default Re: Iowa Barnstormers

There is a UNI night at the Stormers game coming up!

http://www.unialum.org/events/barnstormers08.shtml

The alumni assoc. has some info. posted on it. If you live in central Iowa and haven't checked out one of these games, I strongly encourage it, it's a crazy time but ya the announcer does get a little annoying, it reminds me of the AND1 basketball tour announcer "ohhhh the professor!" (if you're familiar) I'll be there with my barnstormer shirt and my UNI hat!
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Old 06-06-2008, 08:08 AM   #6
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Default Re: Iowa Barnstormers

Definitely check it out. They're averaging around 9-10,000 per game, but there are plenty of seats available (as needed, they open up the 3rd deck.)
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Old 06-10-2008, 07:44 AM   #7
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Default Re: Iowa Barnstormers

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Definitely check it out. They're averaging around 9-10,000 per game, but there are plenty of seats available (as needed, they open up the 3rd deck.)
Glad to hear they're drawing well. As I remember, that's about the same number they drew at Vets when the franchise was playing at a higher level (not af2).

Is there any talk of trying to move Des Moines back to the higher level of play? I believe AF2 is basically a minor league. The economics didn't work for the higher level a few years ago, but Wells Fargo has to offer a better venue in terms of revenue. I also can't understand why Grand Rapids plays in the upper league while Des Moines is AF2. Talk with people who know both and they'll tell you that Des Moines and Grand Rapids are basically the same city. Western Michigan is probably more densely populated than Iowa, but not so much that it stands out.
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Old 06-10-2008, 12:15 PM   #8
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Default Re: Iowa Barnstormers

Especially considering that Des Moines was one of the more successfull franchises in the AFL at the time, and like you said, always drew well back then too.
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iowa sucks, fran sucks, their schedule sucks, iowa fans suck
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Old 06-10-2008, 06:22 PM   #9
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Default Re: Iowa Barnstormers

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Glad to hear they're drawing well. As I remember, that's about the same number they drew at Vets when the franchise was playing at a higher level (not af2).

Is there any talk of trying to move Des Moines back to the higher level of play? I believe AF2 is basically a minor league. The economics didn't work for the higher level a few years ago, but Wells Fargo has to offer a better venue in terms of revenue. I also can't understand why Grand Rapids plays in the upper league while Des Moines is AF2. Talk with people who know both and they'll tell you that Des Moines and Grand Rapids are basically the same city. Western Michigan is probably more densely populated than Iowa, but not so much that it stands out.
They're probably going to average slightly better than they did in vets, only because WF is larger. The team isn't very good, but it's fun as hell.

I'm sure there will be talk of going back up into the 'major' league, but I'm not sure Des Moines can support that. I'd guess you'd have to average 12,000-15,000 per game, plus big sponsorship money. I'm not sure it's there, but they do have the building for it now.

We aren't going to lead the league in attendance, but we should be in the top 2 or 3.
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Old 06-10-2008, 11:02 PM   #10
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Default Re: Iowa Barnstormers

It's not about attendence. The barnstormers were first or second in the league in attendence every year the first time around. It's about corporate sponsorships and TV revenue. They didn't have enough of that with the original team. Part of that may have been because Jim Foster rubbed a lot of people the wrong way. Part of it was because there was virtually no TV coverage back in those days. Now the AFL has a much better TV deal, I don't know how they share that revenue though, or if they do. Dsm is a small TV market.

In the 10 years since the original Barnstormers some of the heavy hitter corps in Dsm have shown they aren't above laying out millions to sponsor athletic events. Principal, Wells Fargo, and Hy-Vee are all doing that these days.

The original team didn't make any money, but they didn't lose a lot. The ownership group had a chance to sell for 10 times their investment and they took it. That really has been the model for most sports franchises the past 30 years or so.
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Old 06-11-2008, 12:58 AM   #11
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Default Re: Iowa Barnstormers

There is no way that any of those teams I see on TV average 10-12,000 people. Half of those games I see have arenas that are more than half empty. And that would not and was not a problem for the Des Moines team.
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iowa sucks, fran sucks, their schedule sucks, iowa fans suck
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Old 06-11-2008, 07:44 AM   #12
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Default Re: Iowa Barnstormers

I would guess it's being talked about, and if the local companies are willing to lay out the money (it seems to me about half the suites are empty, fwiw) it could work. I'd guess the major sticking point would be weekly non-ESPN TV, and with no regional tv net based out of Des Moines, that gets hard.

The expenses are MUCH different. These af2 guys get $200 a week + $50 a win. The starting salary in AF is $30,000 per year.
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Old 06-27-2008, 03:37 PM   #13
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Default Re: Iowa Barnstormers

Anyone heard anything about the reasoning for the suspension of Berryman?
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Old 06-27-2008, 07:19 PM   #14
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Default Re: Iowa Barnstormers

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Anyone heard anything about the reasoning for the suspension of Berryman?
Coach said it wasn't anything legally related and more along the lines of not coming to practice, lockerroom destroyer, etc...
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Old 07-13-2008, 02:00 AM   #15
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Default Re: Iowa Barnstormers

Went to my first Barnstormer game tonight. Fun time and great to see Panther alums playing well.
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Old 07-13-2008, 09:08 AM   #16
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Default Re: Iowa Barnstormers

Nice crowd last night...9,000+ again. They almost looked like a good football team too.
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