Haymarket Hotspots: Welcome the Lincoln Haymakers

Visit the Lincoln Haymakers!

There is a new team in town. Downtown Lincoln is proud to welcome back indoor football this spring with the Lincoln Haymakers. We spoke with Tyson Billings, Haymakers’ Assistant General Manager and Director of Marketing & Sales, to find out the team’s ins and outs.

Can you tell me some of the franchise’s history?
Our current ownership group had the Express last year in Council Bluffs, Iowa. The Express had an outstanding season falling short in the league championship game. When the opportunity to move to Lincoln came up our ownership jumped at the chance to bring the team to our home state of Nebraska.

Why did the franchise decide to bring indoor football back to Lincoln after the Capitals left in 2005?
Lincoln is an outstanding community with a passionate love for football. We felt the community deserves a top tier organization… built to stay in the community long term. The Haymakers is a new, separate organization established in Lincoln by Nebraskans to fill the void in the spring for football fans and we look forward to providing entertainment as well as role models in the community.

How did you decide on the name the Haymakers?
We tossed around several ideas but the Haymakers name just made the most sense. With Nebraska being a strong agricultural state, the team wanted to pick a name that matched the tough qualities Nebraskans share. The Haymaker is known as a knockout punch in boxing which fits with our team’s tough mentality and since we are based out of Lincoln’s historic Haymarket, the name just makes sense.

Speaking of that, what will a Haymaker mascot look like?
We do have a mascot right now but I can’t tell you what it will look like. It is going to be one of the surprises we look forward to showcasing in front of our fans at games this spring!

Can you explain indoor football a little bit? What can fans going to games expect? Any key differences from football people are used to seeing?
Indoor football is more like outdoor football than people often think. Some differences are the game is played on a 50 yard field as wide as a hockey rink with 4 foot padded walls right against the sideline. The field goal is 10 feet wide and 10 feet off the ground. Each team has eight players on the field with a roster total of 30. Punting is illegal and more than one player can be in motion at the same time before the snap. The games are known to be high scoring with diving catches and bone crushing tackles.

What league will the Haymakers be a part of?
The team will play in the Champions Indoor Professional League which is a Midwest based league with teams like the Omaha Beef, Sioux City Bandits and the Wichita Wild.

What can fans expect from the atmosphere (family, younger crowd, etc)? Do you have any special promotions planned for game days?
Fans will be welcomed to Pershing this spring by an electric atmosphere. We are looking forward to having a wide range of crowds with a special focus on families. Really there will be something for every type of spectator from the diehard football fans, to students. Our Kids Club will cater to the younger generations too. We will have many giveaways during games as well as on field timeout promotions. We also plan on having a pretty solid football team for the Lincoln community to enjoy with former Huskers like Cory Ross and Marlon Lucky. Parking won’t be a hassle with the parking garage opening up exclusively for our fans just walking distance from the Pershing Center.

What are ticket prices?
Season tickets start out at just $69 each for six home games. Individual tickets will start at $14.50. Our season ticket holders will receive a discount on each ticket as well as offers like merchandise discounts, private practice access and exclusive newsletters. Thankfully the Pershing is such a quality facility that there isn’t a bad seat in the house.

Tell me a little about the roster?  I see you brought back some former Huskers.
We are putting together a really solid roster for this year looking to build a team that could potentially compete for league championships. I know our coaches are really excited about the competition between players fighting to make the 30 man roster. We have several former Huskers like Marlon Lucky and Cory Ross, as well as other top notch players from the area. [Most recently, the team signed ex-Husker defensive backs Cortney Grixby and Andre Jones.] Our league is unique in the fact that we have a recruiting radius mandating 25 of our 30 man roster has to have ties to the Nebraska area which is great for local fans. These guys on the field will be in the community and they understand the importance and tradition of football in our state.

Where can fans go to get more information on the team?
For more information fans can check out and by liking our facebook page. We also have a twitter account [@HaymakersFB] that gives behind the scenes access to fans so there are a lot of ways our fans can get in touch with us.  As always fans can stop in our team offices [located in the Haymarket in The Apothecary] or call 402-435-0411 for more information.

Anything else you would like to say about the Haymakers?
We are very thankful to be in Lincoln and there’s a wide variety of ways the community can be a part of our franchise. We have public appearances and events as well as sponsorships and partnership opportunities to really benefit the community and businesses in the area. We have built our organization for many years of Pro Indoor Football in Lincoln and we are very excited to continue growing!

The Haymakers are preparing for their home debut on March 29 against the Sioux City Bandits. If you can’t wait that long, the team will play the Nebraska Danger in Grand Island on Feb. 23 in a preseason game. Check out their Facebook albums to see the Haymakers get to work and start on their championship run.

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