Viva Las Vegas Footy: US Nationals 2006?
Wednesday, January 25 2006 @ 05:30 am ACDT
Contributed by: Troy Thompson
With the size of the workload involved becoming more obvious in recent times, no club had put up their hand to host the tournament by the time of the 2005 National Championships held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Usually an announcement would have been made at that time, but not in 2005. There is also the matter of the ‘Nationals Curse’ which seems to haunt host clubs in the years following the tournament being in their city, perhaps due to the enormous workload on volunteer administrators. The curse is generally not taken seriously, yet a serious case could be mounted that there is something to it.
This week WFN learned that Las Vegas will almost certainly host the 2006 USAFL National Championships. New club Florida had also been mentioned, but although still just a strong rumour, expect an announcement confirming Las Vegas from USFooty soon. The Nevada city famous for its Casinos and twenty four hour life will be the latest US city to be swamped by Aussie Rules footballers. The city is also the home of one of the newest teams on the US footy scene, the Las Vegas Gamblers. Given the massive organisational effort to host this footy tournament that has gone from strength to strength the last few years, it is thought that the Gamblers administration will be assisted by many others in the USAFL organisation to make the event a success.
Las Vegas is seen as a big draw for clubs and individual footballers and it is hoped that some of the clubs that sent partial teams or were unable to attend at all will be there in full this year. The city hosted the Wild West Shootout 9-a-side competition April 2005 and the newly formed Gamblers played a match against the Mojave Greens combining with the Tucson Javelinas in December 2005. The Gamblers website reports growing numbers with ‘alternate practice weekly on the North and South side of town every Thursday to accommodate new players’. Let's hope that the famed attractions of the Las Vegas ‘strip’ do not distract too much from the footy (and the curse is broken).