Monday, July 28, 2014

Rugby in the Alamodome

David Cerqueira steps the gap against UTSA
San Antonio, TX - Alamo City Rugby was able to partner with the Arena Football League's San Antonio Talons twice this month to showcase two fast-paced, high-impact Rugby 7's expositions at the Alamodome during the local arena football halftime show.

How does a local rugby club find a way to play a 7s match during the halftime of an Arena Football game? It all starts with Social Media

After receiving a message from a local salesperson on social media that asked him to buy tickets to the San Antonio Talons matches, Alamo City's Coach "Big" John Anderson responded, "We'd love to come to the game, but we'd love it even more if our rugby team could be your halftime show!" The Talons' salesperson told them to sell some tickets to the game and it's a wrap - 50 tickets at $10 apiece later...

Dez Williams puts the finishing move on a try for Alamo City.
Playing the first-ever match in San Antonio's Alamodome, Alamo City RFC wanted to reward not only the players from other south Texas teams playing on the "Prickly Pears" 7s Select Side (to include ACRFC, Corpus Christi Crabs RFC and San Marcus Greys RFC), as well as standout ruggers from the Blacks and San Antonio RFC in an effort to offer up the best possible product while supporting the only college rugby side in town. UT-San Antonio was asked to a part of the south Texas blended competition.

The smaller playing enclosures (25x70 yards) and the XVs mix of rugby physiques made for a quick and physical thirteen minutes of rugby (shortened due to 15 minute Arena Football halftimes). It helped to have discussions of Laws used and variations applied before the matches. A couple of great referees also kept the matches flowing.
RJ de la Garza has the ball out for UTSA.
During the second half of the July 6 match, the whole of the Alamo City side on the pitch was made up of US Military and Veterans. These ruggers were distinguished through-out the matches by the Stars & Stripes bandanas they wore during the match AND by the announcement made to the Talons' fans at the start of the half. San Antonio has been an established military town for many decades. This presentation was received with aplomb by the fans.

The fans also loved USA Rugby's "The American Rugby Tradition" video. The Talons played the video on the Alamodome's big screen while the rugby matches were in progress.
Alamo City's Military Veterans: Tim Guillaume, Eric Geckas, Big John Anderson, Richie Watts, Mike Stewart and Chris Phillips
All in all, 10,000 souls in the San Antonio area were exposed to a rugby showcase over two weekends in the Alamodome. The Alamo City RFC answered a social media call with an aggressive request for opportunity. These opportunities to showcase rugby locally are available in forms that are right in front of our face. Big John Anderson says, "We just need to see them for what they could be."

Since the two matches, Alamo City has gained over 50 followers on Facebook And over 150 viewers on Instagram, all of whom now receive instant information and updates about Alamo City Rugby.
Larkin Buchanan (Blue) & RJ de la Garza (Orange) vying for the possession in the AlamoDome.

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