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Nashville Kats Make a Ferocious Return to Music City in AFL Relaunch at Municipal Auditorium

by Rich and Laura Lynch

Talk about "Claws Out"! That's the title of the just released theme song for the Nashville Kats who made their return to Music City for a third go around in the newly reformed Arena Football League on April 27, 2024 at the Municipal Auditorium in Tennessee's capitol.

Nashville's new sponsor makes sense because all Kats love Temptations.

Like their theme track crafted by GRAMMY-nominated recording artists Jamie Floyd and Ty Herndon and produced by Jimmy Thow, the Kats team, front office and staff arrived to the game with their own claws out on Saturday ready to make an impression on the sometimes hard to please Nashville entertainment marketplace.

Arena Football gets moving again at the Municipal Auditorium in Music City.

Led by the intelligent and determined ownership group that includes Chuck McDowell, Tamara Dadd Alan and Nancy D. Eckert with an assist from Nashville sports legend Jeff Fisher who serves as President of Football Operations - the Kats did mostly everything right to kick-off their time in this new league with class and style.

It was perfect weather for a block party in Tennessee.

First up, the block party presented by Temptations brought out the curious and the committed for a festive celebration of the revival of one of Nashville's most beloved sports franchises. The shin-dig was complete with a VIP party featuring barbeque from Roy's Meat Service and a meet and greet with the resurrected and updated mascot - Kool Kat.

The Nashville Kats and the new AFL are just getting warmed up in 2024.

Inside the circular arena there was a consistent stream of family friendly entertainment including National Anthem singer Blanco Brown and half-time antics provided by the acrobatic archer Orissa Kelly. The Lady Kats dance squad were energetic and top-notch all game long and the staff in the stands really helped spur on an enthusiastic crowd of over 5,000. The fans - who obviously missed their Kats even broke into an extended wave late in the third quarter that had everyone reminiscing about the old days.

Koot Kat gets an upgrade and some news friends as the Nashville Kats 3.0 prep to take the field.

As for the on-the-field action your Nashville Kats came chomping at the bit and dominated the match from the early seconds to compile a 47 - 12 victory over the hapless Myth from Minnesota to establish their presence in the league - once known as the "50 Yard War on the Floor" - as one to be reckoned with. We learned earlier in the day that one secret to their success just might be that they are being fueled up by endzone sponsor RMS who has been feeding the players a lot of his tasty - and sometimes controversial BBQ - for weeks in East Nashville.

The Kats kept connecting for long touchdown passes on opening night.

The Kats have four more home games on the schedule including an anticipated showdown on May 18 against the Georgia Force at the F&M Arena in Clarksville. Back in Nash, the organization mainly managed to avoid the opening night jitters. When they did come up short it was because their start was going better than expected as the team's PR staff reported a surprising 3,000 ticket sales occurring on game day alone. So, there were problems with not enough concession staff or food available for fans. These type of issues can be easily fixed and analyzed as the season unfolds. Of course, the Kats will only be as strong as the weakest link in the league system where other launches didn't go quite as good as the one in Music City.

These narrow goalposts, Blanco Brown, acrobatic archer Orissa Kelly and an enthusiastic staff made for a party like atmosphere in NashVegas.

The Arena Football League played its first games in 1987 and the quirky and unusual form of gridiron action immediately became comedic fodder for late night talk hosts. They gained legitimacy when a former star Kurt Warner became a Super Bowl MVP the year after he jumped from the indoor circuit to the NFL. Later they became influential when countless other leagues adopted similar formats to the parent AFL. In 2024, the Nashville Kats have raised the bar and presented the template for what an Arena Football team and organization should be in the modern era. Other markets in this new fledgling enterprise would do well to take note of how one team in Music City did everything right to provide a good fan experience and a family friendly night out on the town - complete with a well-rehearsed squad and pro style looking goal posts and nets. That's something not every other locale in the new AFL could say with confidence after week 1.

The Lady Kats were raring and ready to roar for their team in Nashville.

Related Links: For more information on the NASHVILLE KATS and the other organizations mentioned please visit the following links - Nashville Kats | Nashville Municipal Auditorium


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