AAF opener in Memphis draws small crowd – (News)

AAF opener in Memphis draws small crowd –

Last week’s curiosity regarding the AAF has faded quickly into ambivalence. At least in Memphis.

On Saturday night, a sparse crowd showed up for the Memphis Express home opener against the Arizona Hotshots. The announced attendance was 11,980; the visual evidence suggests that maybe some people were counted twice.

“We’re excited about the people that came out and supported us,” Memphis coach Mike Singletary said after the 20-18 loss. “I’m very thankful for our fan base and hopefully, we can build on that.”

The Express led 12-0 at the half, squandering a double-digit lead in the fourth quarter.

“The bottom line is that we lost steam,” Singletary said. “We didn’t get off the field and we stayed out there too long. Somehow, some way, we have to figure out how to finish games.”

Express running back Zac Stacy became the first player in AAF history to rush for 100 yards, finishing with 101. Express quarterback Christian Hackenberg, who has struggled in two starts, threw for 102.

Yes, the AAF has a long-term plan for growing a developmental league that also develops important technology to facilitate in-game wagering. But to get to the long term, the AAF must survive the short term. If people won’t be showing up for the games, that will become harder to do.