Thursday, August 15, 2013

Rock band KISS bringing pro football back to Los Angeles

Shout it out loud — pro football is headed back to Los Angeles, and you can thank the renowned rock band KISS for it.

The LA KISS will begin play in the Arena Football League next season at the Honda Center, it was announced Thursday.

KISS founding members Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley hope to establish a similarly broad fanbase with their newest project, a partnership with the AFL as owners of the Anaheim-based expansion team.

“The whole idea of an alternative to what has perhaps become a corporate sport is very intriguing, and resonates with us,” Stanley told USA TODAY Sports by phone on Wednesday. “We’ve always tried to be a band that relates to everybody, and the AFL is built on that whole premise.”

Though the band’s logo will be incorporated into the team’s uniforms, Stanley and Simmons trademark spiked shoulder pads and face-paint won't be. But they are hoping to bring their understanding of live performance to the team’s home games in order to create what they believe is a true football experience.

“There’s been a lot of attention to detail, to nuances, so that people don’t think this is a rock band in football helmets,” Simmons said. “This is real football, and this is good for the game.”

"Season tickets are now on sale for what we know will be some of the most action-packed games ever played at the Honda Center," said Stanley. "Arena Football is played at a fast and furious pace and making season tickets available now for the budget-friendly price of $99 gives a whole new meaning to bang for the buck."

All LA KISS season-ticket buyers will be invited to a free KISS concert to take place at Honda Center next year.

“As a fast-paced, high-action band this partnership with the AFL was an obvious fit for us,” said Simmons. “With Arena Football, you are much closer to the action — sitting in the front row is like putting a folding chair on the hash mark of an NFL game — and it’s one of the only sports where you can experience this level of intensity. Attending an LA KISS game in 2014 will be similar to a live KISS show, with thrilling, heart-pounding action.”

The AFL will mark its 27th season in 2014. There hasn't been a team in Southern California since the Los Angeles Avengers folded in 2009.

“We wouldn’t put LA KISS on a football helmet," said Stanley, "if we didn’t believe we could kick it out of the park.”


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