Cedar Rapids win exhibition match

cedarrapidsCedar Rapids now have a permanent home at US Cellular Center and they started the 2014 campaign on the right foot. The first scheduled game for this year was against Bemidji Axemen, an exhibition match that the hosts one by 22 points to 11. This is the first time the Cedar Rapids played at the new arena, which was in renovations for a long period of time.

The number of fans that attended the fixture was impressive and the fact that the home team succeeded in winning by such a convincing difference, suggests that attendance will remain high throughout the season. General manager and co-owner Chris Kokalis was particularly happy with the result, as this victory is a good proof that the recent acquisition campaign paid off.

As far as the fans are concerned, the differences between the Ice Arena they were so used to and the US Cellular Center are significant and not all of them for the better. It might take a while for them to accommodate the new stadium, but it makes it is easier to make the transition when their team is riding a successful streak. Perhaps the best-selling point of the previous arena is that the good seats were conveniently located close to the field, whereas at the U.S. Cellular Center, they are slightly behind.

When asked about what their opinion was on the fact that the team plays in Aviva Stadium, the fans had mixed feelings and so did the players. On one hand, it is nice to have almost 5000 people cheering in the stands, on the other hand, it is always difficult to play on a new venue. The exhibition served the purpose of helping the players accommodate to their new home arena, a few days before the official start of the season. The Cedar Rapids will be facing tough opponents in 2014 and will need every help they can get.

The first major obstacle they will have to overcome is winning in Texas against the Revolution, an opponent that is hard to defeat when it has home pitch advantage. The Rapids will have to play the same offensive football that served them well against the Axemen, but the biggest challenge will be to prevent the hosts from scoring early in the game. The Bemidji Axemen didn’t cause them too many problems in their own half, but Texas Revolution is an opponent of an entirely different caliber.

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