Arena Bowl XXIII Officially a Sellout! - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Spokane Shock

Arena Bowl XXIII Officially a Sellout!

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11,000 fans are expected to pack the Spokane Arena for Arena Bowl XXIII Friday night (Photo: SWX) 11,000 fans are expected to pack the Spokane Arena for Arena Bowl XXIII Friday night (Photo: SWX)

SPOKANE, Wash. - Arena Bowl XXIII at Spokane Arena is officially sold out. The last remaining tickets to the championship game between the Spokane Shock and the Tampa Bay Storm sold late Thursday night, meaning the Arena will hold a record crowd of 11,000 fans Friday night.

The Shock added 150 standing-room-only tickets to the mix on Wednesday, while also announcing that Washington State had added an incentive to make sure every ticket sold. The Pullman-based university said it would allow those who bought a ticket to the Arena Bowl to have a free ticket to their home opener against Montana State on Sept. 11.

Apparently, that did the trick. All tickets were gone shortly before 11 p.m. Thursday night.

Tampa Bay's team, already in town by Thursday, said it's not too worried about a loud, obnoxious crowd.

"We're excited, we're looking forward to it and we just want to play out best game," said Storm quarterback Bret Dietz. "We want them to play their best game, and may the best team win."

That's what they say, but in reality playing against a loud home crowd can be difficult to say the least. Playing at home is a definite advantage, especially if you're the team with one of the most rabid fan bases in the league.

"They get a good feel for our fans and what the atmosphere can be," said Shock receiver Markee White. "A lot of times teams come in here and they have a lot of trouble hearing."

"I don't even have to watch the game. I can listen to the crowd and know when our defense makes a turnover," said quarterback Kyle Rowley. "So, it's that type of noise: I literally don't have to watch the game because of how loud the crowd is."

Tampa Bay will be playing for their sixth Arena Bowl championship and will mark the eighth time they've appeared in the league's championship game. On the other hand, Spokane is making its first-ever appearance in the AFL's Arena Bowl, although they've won two titles as a member of the af2.

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