By FRANK PASTOR, Times Staff Writer
Published February 7, 2005
TAMPA - Storm coach Tim Marcum would have preferred not to play on Super Bowl Sunday. But he wasn't asked his opinion.
The Arena Football League moved up the start of the season two weeks. And with bull riding scheduled for Friday and a Lightning game originally set for Saturday at the St. Pete Times Forum, the Storm had no choice but to play Sunday.
The announced attendance of 10,104 was the lowest for a home game since the 2003 season.
"If they would have asked me, I would have told them I don't like it," Marcum said.
As if the Super Bowl weren't enough to keep people away, the Bank of America marathon took place earlier in the day.
League spokesman Chris McCloskey said the heightened interest in football in January and February and strong NBC ratings during those months the past two seasons prompted the earlier start.
Tampa's lagging attendance was not the norm. Average attendance for the eight Week 2 games was 13,962, including a franchise record 14,925 in New York and 16,036 in Chicago on Sunday.
"We'll evaluate the success later this week," McCloskey said.
SUPER TRIP: Larry Lindenburg , 42, of Palm Harbor and his son, Dustin , 20, were whisked from the Storm game in a limousine bound for the Super Bowl in Jacksonville.
Lindenburg, one of five finalists, turned over the winning soup bowl to earn two tickets, $100 and a ride in a limo stocked with food and beverages.
Lindenburg, a 12-year season-ticket holder, said he didn't mind leaving the Storm game as long as the limo driver put it on the radio.
"I love the Storm," Lindenburg said. "Now I really love them."
STORM FLURRIES: Austin quarterback Bobby Pesavento left the game with a knee injury after a first-quarter hit by Kelvin Kinney . ... Storm lineman Nyle Wiren missed the final five minutes with a neck injury after a Wranger hit him in the helmet. Tests are scheduled for today. ... With offensive specialist Freddie Solomon out (ankle), the Storm released lineman Darion Conner to make room for receiver/defensive back Kenny Christian . The team expects to re-sign Conner today. Lineman DeMarcus Johnson also was inactive.