RIT’s Gordon Field House to host arena football

ROC City Thunder holds press conference to announce home venue

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ROC City Thunder, New York’s only professional indoor football team, will play its home games at Rochester Institute of Technology’s Gordon Field House this year.

“We’re thrilled to be playing at RIT. The facility is fantastic and there will automatically be thousands of fans there. It’s perfect,” says Jeff Teed, a team co-owner and general manager.

A press conference was held today at the Gordon Field House to announce their plans. Twenty players and five supplemental staff are expected to be signing on with the team later this month. Most will be from the Rochester area, with some from Buffalo and Syracuse.

“We wanted to have a local team,” Teed says.

ROC City Thunder is in the American Indoor Football League. Four home games are scheduled: 7:15 p.m. March 16; 7:30 p.m. March 29; 3 p.m. April 21; and 7:30 p.m. April 26. Doors will open an hour before kickoff.

Arena football is played on a 50-yard field with padded sidelines. “All the rules are the same, but 95 percent of the time will be passing,” Teed says. “If a ball goes into the stands, the fans can keep it.”

Jonathan Zhe, Gordon Field House assistant director of marketing and ticket sales, says approximately 2,500 seats will be available for the ROC City Thunder games and turf will be laid for them.

“There will be full contact tackles, full speed and a lot of energy,” Zhe says. “We’re looking forward to hosting the Thunder and bringing arena football to the Gordon Field House.”

Tickets are $11; $8 for RIT students and youth ages 6-12; free for children 5 and younger. Group discounts for 15 tickets or more are available. Season tickets are $30, or $40 for first-row seats. Tickets go on sale at noon Jan. 16 at the Gordon Field House Box Office, at www.RITtickets.com or at 585-475-4121.