ATLANTIC CITY — Atlantic City, are you ready for some football?
The Philadelphia Soul and the Las Vegas Outlaws are coming to Boardwalk Hall in May for an Arena Football League game.
The Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, the state agency overseeing Atlantic City tourism and redevelopment projects, approved a subsidy agreement Tuesday to protect the Soul from financial losses if the game falls short in ticket sales.
Under the deal, the CRDA will provide up to $80,000 in subsidies if at least 3,000 tickets are not sold, said Robert Mulcahy, vice chairman of the authority’s board.
Mulcahy, a former athletic director at Rutgers University and one-time president of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, urged his fellow board members to attend the game.
“A lot of action,” Mulcahy said of the typical, high-scoring Arena Football League games.
CRDA Executive Director John Palmieri said Boardwalk Hall’s operator, Global Spectrum, has been representing the authority for months in negotiations with the Soul. The Soul’s principal owner is Ron Jaworski, the former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback and current ESPN analyst.
Tom Goodhines, the Soul’s general manager, said the team will play the Las Vegas Outlaws on May 30. The Outlaws are owned by Motley Crue lead singer Vince Neil.
Although the May game was formally announced Tuesday at the CRDA board meeting, there has been talk for months about the possibility of the Soul playing twice this year at Boardwalk Hall.
In an interview with The Press of Atlantic City last October, Jaworski mentioned the possibility of turning the game against the Outlaws into a full-fledged entertainment event, including a concert before kickoff.
The Soul-Outlaws game continues Atlantic City’s efforts to add more sports and entertainment attractions to give visitors more to do than just gamble at the casinos.
Boardwalk Hall, which serves as the city’s main sports and concerts arena, holds the distinction of being the first location in the country to host a major indoor college football game. On Dec. 19, 1964, the cavernous building was the setting for the University of Utah’s 32-6 win over West Virginia University in the Liberty Bowl.
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