College sports started back at UNF this week and with their soccer teams having started playing at Hodges Stadium, in what looks like a great year for the progression of the Athletics program in general, we are excited to be linked to the University.
This of course means that the National Championship Game will be hosted on the adjacent Soccer field. “We have been asked why the game is not being played in the stadium”, said Axemen GM, Drew Slover. “Hodges Stadium and its field are there for the Student Athletes at UNF and they always need to have priority use of the venue, especially as they are gearing up for a great year of UNF Athletics. We are thankful we are considered a good partner during the summer months and appreciate their willingness to have the second field ready with upgrades for our National Championship Game.”
UNF has gone above and beyond to ensure that the new field will be ready for the event, and showcase both UNF and the City of Jacksonville as great partners for the growth of Rugby League in the USA. “Everett Malcolm and the Student Affairs department staff have been incredible during the lead up to this event”, said Spinner Howland. “Quite frankly the upgrades they have done to the new field will make the game day experience about as intimate as you could ever wish for. Fans will be 20 feet from the sidelines and will easily be able to feel the impact of tackles and see the sheer brutality of high level Rugby League from their seats.”
The Soccer Field that is adjacent to Hodges Stadium has undergone improvements over the last months that include: new bleacher seating, a brand scoreboard, goal post inserts that will allow full size posts on the field and upgrades to the playing surface. In addition the Axemen are bringing in extra mobile bleachers, sound system and building a production platform to the Television operations for the event. A VIP tent, sponsored by Smarter Remodeling and Ideal Conditions, will also be onsite to cater to the sponsors and USA Rugby League Officials.
Entry to the field will be via the gate that leads directly from Parking Lot 18, and the Axemen are encouraging everyone to enter into UNF via the North Entrance off CENTRAL PARKWAY.
Gates will open at 4:45pm for the “Curtain Raiser” game between the New Zealand Blue Thunder and the Presidents Barbarians that will kick off at 5:30pm. Fans can expect a powerful HAKA as part of the pre-game for this clash. Then the National Championship between the Philadelphia Fight and the Jacksonville Axemen will start at 7:00pm, and Joy Dennis will start the game with an amazing performance of the USA National Anthem.
Walk up tickets for this event are $12 with kids 15 and under admitted FREE, thanks to presenting sponsor Republic Services.
Those wishing to book hotel rooms for the night are encouraged to call the Sheraton Hotel in Jacksonville, located at 10605 Deerwood Park Blvd. Jacksonville, FL. (904) 564-4772 The hotel is also post game party venue and is only 5 minutes from the field. Use booking code AXEMEN RUGBY when calling the hotel to get the event rate of $90 (total with tax) that includes breakfast. Single and Double Rooms available.
As always the JaxArrest.com Axe Maidens will perform during the game, the $1 Halftime Raffle will have some awesome prizes and Joy Dennis will open the National Championship with an amazing performance of the National Anthem.
Full concessions, Beer, Wine and Merchandise will also we on sale throughout the event.
We wish to extend special thanks to St. Vincents Health Care, Yau Law, Republic Services, Visit Jacksonville, City of Jacksonville, CW17 and IKNOWJAX.com for all the support with this game.