Hornets want to play at City Stadium

By Rachel DePompa - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - They call themselves Richmond's best kept secret. Now they want to get the word out. The Virginia Hornets are vying for a chance to permanently play at City Stadium when the Richmond Spiders move out.

The Richmond Hornets season starts in three weeks, but players like Eric Nelson are already thinking about next year.

"Our popularity is really growing in Richmond. So I think we're going to need a bigger place," said Virginia Hornets Center Eric Nelson.

The Hornets want to move in when the Spiders move out.

"We've been approached by people in the neighborhood talked to us about why not us trying to get this field," said Virginia Hornets Coach Clifford "Perk" Jefferson.

The organization is teaming up with Sportsbackers, the Richmond Kickers and Richmond public schools.

The team considers itself a second chance organization. It's helped 8 kids get into college to play football and seen 17 kids go on to play arena ball.

"Think growing up everybody wants to play on the big stage, you know for me coming out here and seeing these stands just packed with people cheering for you that's That would be great," said Running Back Mike Crabbe.

The stadium was built in 1929 and one of the main reasons was so that minor league football would have a home. In fact a team played here all the way up until the 70's.

"Here in Richmond back in the 50's the Rebels which were Richmond's team. Which played here in city stadium. Would generally get guys called up to come play NFL football," said General Manager Darryl Bradley.

For 33 year old left guard Big Bubba, taking the field here is also a chance to re-live history. He played for the University of Richmond in college.

"To be able to come back here and play on the same field... Oh emotions can't describe what would go on when I walk through that tunnel," said Matthew Irving, Left Guard.

The Richmond Spiders move out next fall. The Hornets are hoping to get permission from the city to play here for the summer of 2010. The current season starts July 18 at Armstrong High School. The games are just five dollars for people 12 and up.

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