The new arena football team the Vermont Brew and the Vermont Bucks have joined the same league. Rivalry on.
The Brew will play its home games in the the refurbished Memorial Sports Center in Middlebury home and the Bucks will play at the Collins-Perley Sports Center in St. Albans. The Bucks have also said they will play two of their home games at Spartan Arena in Rutland Town.
The league is called Elite Indoor Football and in addition to the two Vermont teams it boasts a couple of other teams in the Northeast — the Mass Effect in Massachusetts and the Rochester Kings in Rochester, New York. The far-flung league also has teams in Texas, the Carolinas, Florida and just expanded with a team in Dothan, Alabama.
Tentatively, the Brew and Bucks are scheduled to meet on March 28 according to the Elite Indoor Football website, but Brew General Manager Mike Mazzella said the schedule is still being hammered out.
The Bucks’ office is in Colchester and according to the Elite Indoor Football territory agreement there needs to be at least 45 miles between the team ’s headquarters.
“According to Google, we are 46.3 miles apart,” Mazzella said.
The Bucks and Brew will meet twice, according to the Elite site.
“I would expect a home-and-home series,” Mazzella said.
Arena football has eight players on the field for a team with many playing both ways.
Mazzella recently mailed out contracts to seven players, one of whom is a Vermonter, and is awaiting their return.
“We look forward to a great in-state rivalry. I think it will be fun for fans to see two Vermont teams,” Mazzella said. “I think there are enough football fans in Vermont to sustain two teams easily.”
Mazzella said extensive work has been done on the Brew’s home on Buttolph Drive in Middlebury.
“There is a concession and a great viewing area on the second floor,” he said.
Mazzella said that the Brew could have up to seven home games.
Refurbishing Middlebury’s Memorial Sports Center and much the other behind-the-scenes work has been completed although the schedule is still being constructed.
“Now comes the fun part. We’re looking forward to the fans getting to know the players,” Mazzella said.