LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The Arkansas Twisters are making a comeback as part of the first season of the National Gridiron League. It's been 10 years since Arkansas has had a professional football team of its own. On Monday, Feb. 4, as the Spring schedule was released, past and present players shared in the excitement.
The Arkansas Twisters are set to play their first game, Saturday, Mar. 30 vs the Pennsylvania Pioneers at Verizon Arena.
"It’s like the resurrection, it’s like the resurrection of the Arkansas Twisters," said Twisters Defensive End, Nicholas Williams. “I’m ready, I’m really ready."
Head up by coach Matt Diniak, the 36 player roster, including University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff graduate Williams, is an opportunity he’s been waiting for.
“I always stress to a lot of my friends, a lot of my teammates, that it only takes one opportunity and this is that one opportunity I need," Williams said.
Luckily he can get some pointers from his trainer, retired Twisters player Arthur Abston.
“I’m going to be there,” Abston said of the opening game. “I’m going to turn from a player to a fan."
Abston was part of the inaugural team in 2000.
“Crazy, it was crazy, it was like we became local celebrities," Abston said.
With average attendance at 7,300, Abston recalls the big crowds in the early years.
“We had 16,000, we sold out,” Abston said. “We set the arena football record for attendance, for the first two years in existence."
The Twisters ended their run at Verizon Arena in 2009, but now, the team is one of 12 arena football teams represented during the first season of the National Gridiron League.
“These fans are going to get behind them and they will fill up the arena,” Abston said.
The Arkansas Twisters Schedule: