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Positive Signs Flowing Towards 2015 for Predators

Adam Markowitz
Tuesday July 22, 2014

ORLANDO -- The Orlando Predators still have some unfinished business to tend to in 2014. They have a date with the Arizona Rattlers on Saturday, and they are going to be hosting the Pittsburgh Power next week in the first round of the playoffs in what will mark the team's first home playoff game since 2006. However, with an eye already turned to next season, new owner, David Siegel and his team are making a big push towards what could be a huge 2015 season off the field.

This current season is going to go down as an embarrassment and an abomination for the Orlando AFL franchise. The league essentially owned the team for over half the season, previous ownership was basically run out of town, and attendance… well, you don't need to look at anything but pictures at CFE Arena to know how bad that has been… However, 2014 can also be remembered as the year that the Preds finally got back to where they belong. Siegel has made it clear that he will be moving this team back to the Amway Center in 2015, and he not only wants to pack the building like the Orlando Magic would, but he wants to bring the ArenaBowl back to the City Beautiful as well.

Customer service, something that has been severely lacking for the Predators this year, has also returned. Reps have been calling existing season ticket holders all week to get their renewals for 2015, and many have posted their joys of renewing on Facebook and Twitter. Advertising has suddenly become a big thing as well. The team has reached out to the various sports radio stations in the area and has been running advertisements regarding 2015 sponsorships and season tickets.

Even the coverage of the team in the Orlando Sentinel has ramped up just a bit in recent weeks, something that is well-deserved of a team which has won the Southern Division and has a legitimate chance of bringing a championship to the city once again this year.

It was only about six weeks ago that gloom and doom existed for the Predators. I've made my opinion well known about this team about how difficult it was going to be for any prospective owner to bring this team back into the forefront in Orlando sports, and I've even been on the record stating that I didn't believe that the team would exist in another three seasons. The road is nowhere near complete, but all of the proper steps are being made to secure existing fans as well as spreading the word that the team is under new ownership and will be back where it rightfully belongs at the Amway Center next season. Consider me a convert. I'm a believer once again.

One down. Only about 10,000 left to go. It might not happen overnight for the Preds, but Siegel and his team have certainly pushed the club in the right direction once again, something that was badly needed after the disaster that 2014 was from an off-the-field standpoint. Regardless of whether the 2014 season ends by crashing out of the playoffs against Pittsburgh or winning the ArenaBowl, Predators fans have plenty to look forward to for 2015.

Adam Markowitz is an accountant and a freelance sports writer living in Orlando. As a Florida State graduate with degrees in music and history, the garnet and gold will forever be a part of him, but he bleeds the black and red of the Orlando Predators like none other. Adam has been following the AFL since 1991 and has been at well over 200 games, including 16 ArenaBowls. You can follow Adam on Twitter @AFLGuru.
The opinions expressed in the article above are only those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts, opinions, or official stance of ArenaFan Online or its staff, or the Arena Football League, or any AFL or af2 teams.
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