Deal Family Featured Sports Fara Illich April 15, 2010

How does an organization reestablish a connection with the marketplace after a year-long absence?
If you’re the Arizona Rattlers the answer is easy: Free stuff.
RattlersAfter taking a season off, the Arena Football League has triumphantly returned to Downtown Phoenix and to celebrate, the Rattlers gave away all 17,000 tickets to Friday’s season-opener against the Chicago Rush. The promotion is believed to be the first totally free event in the history of professional sports.
You read that correctly. Instead of selling out U.S. Airways Center they gave it out. The public response to the ticket giveaway was so overwhelming that the Rattlers had to carry some requests over to next Friday’s game against Tulsa.
We caught up with Rattlers President and Valley football icon Danny White to find out what else the team has in store for fans this season.
Q: How do the Rattlers compete with the playoff-bound Suns and Coyotes, not to mention the Diamondbacks opening their season?
“It’s a tough market for sure. The economy actually helps us. We feel that we have the most cost-effecient professional sports ticket in the Valley [starting at $10]. Our problem is getting people to experience Arena football initially. Once they do, most come back. Very few can afford to take a whole family to a Suns/Dbacks/Cardinals game.”
Q: Billboards currently feature you. What players appear poised to become the new faces of the franchise, ala Sherdrick Bonner, Bo Kelly and Hunkie Cooper?
“[Wide receiver] J.J. McKelvey, [quarterback] Nick Davila and [wide receiver] Rod Windsor are three that have that kind of potential.”
Q: For someone who has never attended an Arena Football League game, what’s your best five-word sell?
“It’s Football In Concentrate Form.”
You can follow the Rattlers on Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook.