Brooklynites ready for the thunder as new football franchise, the Bolts, invades Coney

MCU Park will go from diamond to gridiron starting this October, as the venue will become the home of the Brooklyn Bolts of the Experimental Football League (FXFL), a new league founded by sports lawyer Mike Woods that will initially feature four franchises and six games for each of them during the regular season. The other teams for the FXFL are the Miami Blacktips, the Omaha Mammoths and the Boston Brawlers.

Unlike previous failed football leagues that tried to compete with the National Football League (NFL), such as the XFL founded by World Wrestling Federation’s Vince McMahon, which only lasted one season, the FXFL has a different objective: to serve as a developmental league to help players that have been cut from NFL teams during training camp as well as recent college graduates grow, and hopefully give them a chance to reach the top level.

During the league’s inaugural season, the Bolts will play three games at MCU Park. The home opener will be on Wednesday, October 15. The other two games will be on Friday, October 24 and Friday, November 7.

Games will be televised and played on weeknights to avoid scheduling conflicts with the NFL and college football.

Although the announcement of the Bolts’ arrival has been recent, Brooklynites seem eager to get their football fix. “It’s been crazy because we haven’t really done any real promotion yet, but we’ve already sold 100 season tickets. We’ve done a soft opening by putting some stuff on social media and handing out fliers during Cyclone games. We haven’t fully switched from baseball to football but a lot of people are already calling in,” said Billy Harner, Cyclones director of communications.

According to Steve Cohen, vice president of the Cyclones, who is running the business side for the Bolts, fans can expect a similar experience at the football game that they would at a Cyclones game.

“We’re actually putting together a lot of ideas right now,” he said. “It’s only three games so there’s not a lot of time, but we’re excited. We have an Oktoberfest planned for one of games and other promotions. Fans will be able to meet the players and kick field goals after the game. We’re also going to do halftime fireworks.”

Cohen believes the three regular season games will help local businesses during Coney’s off-season. “We’re excited to bring a new team to the area. We’re expecting big crowds that hopefully help retail outlets as well,” he said. “After Labor Day, Coney is not what it is during summer, so for a few games, fans will be eating and drinking at local establishments.”

The team has yet to announce a coaching staff and roster, but expects to do so in the coming weeks.

Several season ticket plans are currently available for purchase, with prices starting at $75 for the entire 2014 campaign. To purchase plans or find out more information on seating, call 718-37-BKLYN or visit

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