By MATTHEW PRIBYL
Utah Valley State College will be the host to Utah’s first professional indoor football team, the Utah Catzz.
The Utah Catzz are part of the first inaugural season of the new Professional Indoor Football League of Las Vegas, Nev. Joining Utah in this league will be teams from Wisconsin, Louisiana, Minnesota, Hawai’i and Texas.
BYU football All-American and former Seattle Seahawk Gordon Hudson will be the head coach for the Catzz. Before taking the helm as coach, Hudson had been an offensive coordinator for the San Jose SabreCats for three years in the Arena Football League. Most of the Catzz team members are comprised of players from both BYU and the University of Utah creating an interesting mix of rivalries from college years past.
As for the opportunity to host indoor football at the McKay Events Center, its director Brent Roberts said, “We’re excited to bring indoor football to Utah and UVSC. Indoor football is a fun, action-packed game. Hosting the Utah Catzz further enhances our goal to provide quality entertainment in a center that was built to provide community events.”
The rules of the game are a slight variation from the National Football League. The game is played on a field 50-yards long and limits the amount of players on the field to eight at a time. The scoring in these games is rampant and it is not odd to see scores near 50 or 60 points. The action is non-stop and the hits are devastating at times.
“We’re anticipating sell-out crowds of 6,000 spectators at each game,” Roberts said. “With the amount of football fans in Utah County, we perceive it will be a great success. We also expect 50 percent of our crowds to come from Salt Lake City.”
Otis Sterling, a former BYU receiver and attorney at the University of Utah, is one member of the Catzz who is excited to get back into football again.
“We’re out there because we like to compete,” Sterling said. “We’re athletes and this has given us an opportunity to play the game of football which we all love.”
The first preseason home game will be Dec. 20. The regular season will begin April 11, 1998, and run through Aug. 1, with the playoffs to follow shortly after. Tickets are set to go on sale Nov. 17.
Catzz owner Michael Curran said, “I believe the McKay Events Center to be Utah County’s hidden jewel. I was shocked and excited at its beauty, and I look forward to bringing fans in just to see it. UVSC is absolutely perfect for indoor football.”