Many people know the St. Louis BattleHawks were going to have 50,000 plus people in attendance at The Dome for the LA Wildcats game. It was going to be a testament to how successful this franchise was, but sadly that was taken away. Upon further research though, this was not the only thing that was taken away that day.
I recently spoke with Don Farlow who is responsible for facility service and maintenance for Panera’s corporate properties. He told me how the game against the Wildcats was going to be Panera day at the dome, and why it was going to be.
Farlow was excited to see what the BattleHawks had to offer, but people he worked with were not sure what the XFL was all about. His excitement was contagious and he spread that with people in the office. Farlow then connected with a representative within the BattleHawks office, as well as his season ticket representative to discuss trying to sell some tickets through the company.
According to Farlow, he was not sure how it would go over. However, Farlow pressed on with his scheme. Selling BattleHawks tickets to the associates seemed to be a fun idea and a way to get the Panera folks and their families involved. He mentioned how uplifting it was to watch his team come to life promoting the sale of these tickets, as well as getting excited about the league in general.
When Farlow was working on putting on the event to sell tickets, he quickly realized they may have struck gold. Several people around the office began speaking up for some of the tickets. When he spoke with the representatives from the BattleHawks, he told them they might need over 200 tickets. The BattleHawks representatives told him the most they had sold at any event held by local companies was just over 200. Farlow and his team felt confident and requested more.
His hunch was correct. When the day came to begin selling to the public at their corporate office, the line was so long they couldn’t see the end of it. They sold 100 tickets in 15 minutes. Shortly thereafter, they sold 200 in 25 minutes. By the time they were done, they had sold 625 tickets.
Kurt Hunzeker called to congratulate and thank them. Their small plan to sell some tickets to the biggest regular-season game of the year paid off better than they could have ever imagined.
Another interesting piece of information Farlow shared was the fact that the front offices for each organization shared sales strategies with one another. Each team knew how important it was to try and sell as many tickets to help this league grow. Their strategy was so successful, that they received an email from the ticket office in the Houston organization asking for some suggestions.
After they sold that many tickets, the LA game was going to be the Panera day at the dome and they would be recognized before the game. This would not have been a giveaway of any kind, just an appreciation of their effort. It is unfortunate their accomplishment was not recognized, but fortunately we are able to share his story today.
Farlow gave a glowing review of the front office for the BattleHawks and how accessible they were. He even mentioned developing a personal relationship with a few staff members. His story is further proof of the success of this organization, but also the St. Louis community who welcomed this team with open arms.
Farlow and I concluded the interview sharing stories about the home opener, and what could have been had the league stayed open. XFL 2.0 may have closed down, but in St. Louis the XFL 3.0 has a bright future with the foundation they laid this past season.
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