A chorus of boos is sure to greet the Los Angeles KISS for their inaugural game as an Arena Football League franchise. Their co-owners, however, are virtually certain to be given a standing ovation. And San Antonio gets to do the honors on both.
The L.A. KISS, the new franchise co-owned by KISS vocalist/guitarist Paul Stanley and vocalist/bassist Gene Simmons, take the field for the first time at 7 p.m. Saturday against the San Antonio Talons at the Alamodome in the 2014 AFL season opener. Tickets can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com, or by calling 800-745-3000 or the Talons' ticket office at 210-227-TEAM. Talons players and Sky Dancers will invite all fans onto the field for a 30-minute postgame autograph and photo session.
Although no formal announcement has been confirmed, signs point to Stanley and Simmons being present at some point Friday or early Saturday for their team's history-making opener, along with co-owners Brett Bouchy and longtime band manager Doc McGhee, and team president Schuyler Hoversten.
Although KISS is scheduled to headline the Hell and Heaven Metal Fest in Mexico City on Saturday night, it's possible Stanley and Simmons could be in town before then. The festival, which is supposed to take place Friday and Saturday, may not occur at all due to safety concerns (more here), though KISS' tour page still indicates the band's scheduled performance. If the festival does get canceled, that would obviously increase the likelihood of Stanley and Simmons coming to San Antonio. An L.A. KISS media relations spokesperson told the SAMME last weekend that travel plans for Stanley and Simmons were still being sorted out. The Talons are encouraging fans to arrive early to welcome the team's "legendary owners." Further, the KISS are taking part in a 10-episode "docu-series" scheduled to air this summer on AMC, and it's difficult to imagine the rock stars staying completely out of the first game's spotlights.
Bottom line: Stanley's and Simmons' appearance in the Alamo City remains up in the air. Either way, Talons fans may want to put on their best faces -- KISS makeup optional -- because the reality show's cameras are slated to be at the Alamodome.
Simmons, who told Los Angeles' KTTV that his team represents "real, in-your-face football" (watch here), is no stranger to reality TV. "Gene Simmons' Family Jewels" continues to be an AMC hit. Stanley, for his part, helped to design the KISS' helmets (above).
While World Wrestling Entertainment may have something to say about the KISS' brass boldly declaring their team is "redefining sports entertainment," you can't argue the fact the L.A. KISS are the only pro football franchise in the nation's second-largest market -- National Football League be damned.
Simmons and Stanley played in San Antonio with KISS most recently on Aug. 5, 2012, joined by Motley Crue at the AT&T Center. Simmons donated one of his bass guitars to the River Walk Hard Rock Cafe.
Forty years after their debut album, KISS will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Thurs. April 10 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., despite having been eligible since 1999. After much commotion and/or controversy regarding whether the original version of the band featuring Stanley, Simmons, guitarist Ace Frehley and drummer Peter Criss -- or the current incarnation of Stanley, Simmons, guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer -- would play at the ceremony, Stanley and Simmons released a statement saying KISS will not play at all. The band instead will accept its induction honoring all members past and present.
Stanley and Simmons are not the first rockers to venture into the world of AFL ownership. Jon Bon Jovi had a stake in the Philadelphia Soul from 2004-08, which culminated in the Soul's Arena Bowl championship following the 2008 season. After the AFL temporarily folded in 2009, the Soul returned for the 2011 season and remain one of the league's franchises. Bon Jovi is no longer part of that ownership group.
The L.A. KISS have a Lone Star State connection. Fifth-year AFL wide receiver Markee White played collegiately at Texas State.
The Talons and KISS will square off again at 9 p.m. on Sat. July 19 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.
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