Arizona Rattlers Channel Their Inner Veeck, Give Tickets Away for Free

Greg EspositoContributor IIApril 7, 2010

PHOENIX - JUNE 30:  Quarterback Jeff Smoker #6 unleashes a pass during a game against the Grand Rapids Rampage at the US Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona on June 30, 2008.  (Photo by Gene Lower/Getty Images)
Gene Lower/Getty Images


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The Arizona Rattlers  have decided to make quite a splash for their first home game in almost two years and it immediately conjured up a quote from the Simpsons in my mind–although pretty much everything in life can be connected to a Simpsons quote.

Marge: Do you really think we can afford this?
Homer:  Nothing a month? Yeah, I think we can afford it.

The Valley’s Arena Football League franchise has decided to give away all 17,000 tickets to their home opener next Friday, April 16th at the US Airways Center.

The promotion marks the first time in history a team has given away every ticket to a sporting event (Unless you believe the Canadians claims that that is what the Phoenix Coyotes have been doing for years.)

The tickets will be available Saturday, April 10th from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. at Casino Arizona and 15 selected Napa Auto Parts stores on a first come, first serve basis. Fans can find all the locations distributing tickets at .

When I heard the offer, I had to go check the team’s website to make sure that Danny White was still the team’s President, and that the former MLB owner, and “promoter,” Bill Veeck wasn’t running the team posthumously (that’s after death, not after being funny.)

The deal is great for fans longing for a fix of the AFL, after the league’s season long hiatus. The question is just how many of them are willing to take a chance on a team and a league that is trying to reemerge in an already crowded sports landscape.

Like Veeck once said, “you can draw more people with a losing team, plus bread and circuses, than with a losing team and a long, still silence.”

Luckily for the Rattlers, having a winning team has never been a problem, it’s the long, still silence of a work stoppage and bankruptcy that could prove their downfall.

At least the team is providing the bread and circuses for free, for the first week and like everyone knows, “if it’s free, I’ll take three”– or four since that’s the limit.