Sacramento Mountain Lions Bring UFL Action to Raley Field
The Sacramento Mountain Lions today officially announced that Raley Field in West Sacramento would be their new sports venue. Jeff Savage, General Manager of the Rivercats and Raley Field, welcomed the opportunity to host the local United Football League team in the popular stadium along the Sacramento River.
Along with the expected stadium change, the local UFL team introduced Turk Schonert at their new head coach, replacing Dennis Green who led the Molos through their first 3 seasons. Schonert, most recently offensive coordinator for the UFL Las Vegas Locomotives, enters his 15th year of coaching professionally. Previously, he’s worn an NFL coach’s cap with Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4 seasons), Buffalo Bills (3 seasons), Carolina Panthers, New York Giants, New Orleans Saints, and Buffalo Bills (3 seasons).
Before coaching, Schonert played quarterback for the Stanford Cardinals under Bill Walsh, and played 10 NFL seasons with the Cinncinati Bengals and the Atlanta Falcons. His Bengals teams reached Super Bowl XVI and Super Bowl XXII. For the United Football League’s Sacramento Mountain Lions, Turk Schonert will be Head Coach, Offensive Coordinator, Quarterbacks Coach, and General Manager. At the press conference, he expressed excitement about being back in Northern California, and optimism with the opportunity to coach here.
Paul Pelosi, majority owner of the Sacramento UFL team, welcomed Schonert as a talented and valuable part of the new team. Pelosi reminded the press that the UFL Championship game had a chance to be scheduled for Raley Field, and he stated that the team would love to play in the game as well.
When asked about the venue change, from Hornet Stadium to Raley Field, Pelosi dismissed concerns about the seating capacity, noting that bleachers could, in future seasons, be brought in. The current plans call for the UFL football field to run north-south in the stadium, with seating available from $8.00 to $45.00. Though smaller in capacity than Hornet Stadium (14, 014 vs 21,195), Pelosi noted the improved built-in facilities, availability of suites, and the established Raley Field staff as highly desirable factors in their decision.
The topic of USFL and UFL merging was asked, and Pelosi was short and to the point. “No,” he replied, noting that they had been approached by the USFL and were always willing to talk. “As far was we are concerned, football fans want to see football during football season!” dismissing any interest in a spring season. He also noted the strong fan support in the Sacramento region and the new CBS Sports Network coverage as cornerstones to the franchise’s success.
Negotiations are underway to staff the team on the field and it was also announced that there would be an Open Tryout on August 12th, at American River College.
More information can be found here. http://sacmountainlions.com/news/index.html?article_id=3
The Sacramento Mountain Lions will open their 4th season of UFL football at Las Vegas on September 19th. The 8-game schedule concludes with the UFL Championship game, to be played on November 16th.
Home games at Raley Field:
Fri. Sept. 28 Omaha Nighthawks 8 p.m.
Weds. Oct. 10 Las Vegas Locomotives 6 p.m.
Fri. Nov. 2 Virginia Destroyers 6 p.m.
Weds. Nov. 7 Las Vegas Locomotives 6 p.m.
Tickets and more information can be found at http://sacmountainlions.com.
Disclosure: Photographer who's covered the Rivercats and Mountain Lions