Madison, Alabama will host an in-state rivalry game between North Alabama and Jacksonville State on October 15. This is the first college football game to be played in Madison, a town just outside of Huntsville.
Toyota Field, home of the Rocket City Trash Pandas, the Southern League affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels, will host the game.
“When we built Toyota Field, the vision for the site was always to serve as a multipurpose space for many different events in the city of Madison. We’re excited to add this massive college rivalry game as our premier football effort. Thanks to our partners at UNA, the Trash Pandas and the Convention & Visitors Bureau, we are proud to make this vision a reality for what will be an exciting event,” said City of Madison Mayor Paul Finley. . “Holding an event like this will create tremendous economic impact for our city and showcase our crown jewel facility.
The location makes sense for UNA, as the area is one of the largest bases for alumni and future students. UNA is currently completing its transition to Division I.
“We are thrilled to bring the tradition and pageantry of UNA football to Toyota Field this fall,” said UNA President Dr. Ken Kitts. “The Madison-Huntsville market is critical to us, not just because of our large alumni base, but because of the depth of outstanding students in the area who are prospective UNA students. Hosting this game is a tremendous opportunity for us to expand our brand and embrace the next generation of UNA students.
Sporting director Josh Looney agrees.
“Hosting our in-state rival at Toyota Field is going to be a great experience for our student-athletes, coaches, alumni and fans,” Looney said. “This is an area of UNA pride and we are honored to have this opportunity to showcase our program in a state-of-the-art facility as we continue to build the game of championship-caliber football at the Division I level. .”
Hunstville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau hosted the event and expects a capacity of 10,000. The economic impact is estimated at $1 million for the region.
“In a state that has a deep passion for football, we are proud to lead the charge in bringing this game to life and reinventing Toyota Field as a football facility,” said Judy Ryals, President and CEO. of Huntsville/Madison County. Convention and Visitors Bureau. “We look forward to maximizing the opportunity to bring visitors for the weekend, but also to introduce people to our area via the ESPN+ broadcast to show why Rocket City is such a special place.”
The Trash Pandas team will attend the event, focusing on the fan experience.
“Thanks to the special relationships forged over the past few months, we look forward to welcoming UNA to Toyota Field for a unique experience that we provide to all of our fans every night during baseball season,” said Garrett Fahrmann, General Manager. of Rocket City’s trash pandas. “While this event has some unique features, our goal is to keep the same mindset we have for the Trash Pandas games – to create a special experience for fans that will keep them coming back for another event at Toyota Field. .”
MartinFed, a Huntsville-based federal solutions company, will be the title sponsor of the game.
“MartinFed is a team of exceptional professionals who keep our nation safe and secure every day through the relentless pursuit of excellence,” said Matthew Schmitz, UNA alumnus and Chief Growth Officer of MartinFed. “The University of North Alabama, Jacksonville State University and Rocket City Trash Pandas are also all exceptional teams that strive for excellence every day. MartinFed is proud to be the presenting sponsor of a great event that features such incredible teams and organizations. Investing in our communities is part of our corporate culture and we couldn’t be more excited about this event.
Tickets for the match will go on sale to the public on July 15 at Trash Pandas outlets. UNA and Trash Pandas season ticket holders will have pre-sale opportunities ahead of the public sale.