Carolina Havoc to bring arena football back to Florence
FLORENCE, S.C. — The Carolina Havoc arena football team hopes to become a mainstay in the Florence community.
Carolina Havoc officials announced the signing of a one-year lease to play the 2019 season at the Florence Center during a news conference Tuesday. The organization played its latest season in the Atlanta area, where it won the American Arena League championship.
Havoc General Manager Josh Resignalo said he is excited to be a part of the Florence community.
“We wanted a multiple-year lease, but we needed to get situated first,” Resignalo said. “Our focus is on being in the community. We feel that if we become a part of the community and offer a good product, people will come. They have to know about us first, though.”
The Florence Phantoms (2006-09) were the latest arena football team to play in Florence. They won the American Indoor Football Association championship in 2008.
Resignalo, who lives outside Raleigh, North Carolina, said he believes the Havoc has what it takes to be successful long term in Florence.
“What’s different [about us compared to other teams in the past] is our commitment,” Resignalo said. “I have a personal agenda, because I want to be close to home, and I never want to have to move again. This is close to my home, and it’s just as much a family decision as it is a business decision. We like our potential in Florence.”
Chris Duffy, who co-owns the Havoc with Heath Tate and Kelli Powers, said the organization considered other places but felt it could be most successful in Florence.
“I have to say a big thank you to our fans back in the Buford-Atlanta area,” Duffy said. “Our goal is to win another championship, and we’re very excited to be here in Florence.”
Paul Beard, the general manager of the Florence Center, said the Havoc won’t just be a seasonal team but an organization that is involved with the community year-round.
“We’ve talked with a lot of different teams from many different sports over the years,” Beard said. “I can truly assure you that we’re bringing a team here that is going to rock this town. They’re committed to community engagement, and they will put an exciting product on the field.”
The organization plans to host a youth arena football league, have youth cheer teams and participate in a reading program. Resignalo said the Havoc will be “all over Florence and the Pee Dee area” getting involved with many different causes.
“Longevity is key for us,” Resignalo said. “We want to make this our last place. The only way we can do that is if the community supports us. If we support the community, they’re going to support us.”
The Havoc will open its season in the spring of 2019. The schedule is expected to be released in the next couple of months. Ticket prices for individual games will range from $10 to $24. Season tickets will start at $70.
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