Lance McAlister

Lance McAlister

Lance McAlister covers everything in Cincinnati sports! Host of sports talk on Cincinnati News Radio 700WLW and ESPN 1530!Full Bio


This date 1992: Cincinnati Rockers debut

This date 1992: Cincinnati Rockers debut

The Cincinnati Rockers were an Arena Football team that played at Riverfront Coliseum.

They made their debut on May 30, 1992, beating the Detroit Drive 37-34 in front of 13,317 fans at Riverfront Coliseum.

The expansion team played two season before folding.

Cincinnati Rockers

1992: 7-3 (Coach Fran Cursi)

1993: 2-10 (Coach Joe Haering)

Ted Gregory (Montgomery Inn Ribs King) was granted the Arena league expansion franchise in 1991.The Rockers sold 5,700 season tickets for the 1992 season. They were led by former OSU and NFL QB Art Schlichter. He signed a one-year $40,000 contract and tossed 45 touchdowns. 

Former Bengal Ira Hillary led the team with 93 catches for 1,298 yards and 24 TD's The Rockers were 7-3 in their inaugural season, losing in the first round of the playoffs 41-36 to the Tampa Bay Storm. 

Roster and team stats HERE.

The Rockers averaged 13,883 fans a game in 1992!

Remember the hot tub above the tunnel?

The Rockers faced a rebuild with former NFL QB Blair Kiel in 1993.  Kiel struggled with the indoor game and wound up splitting time with former NFL strike replacement QB Brent Pease. The roster also included the likes of former Cincinnati Bengals WR Ira Hillary and Patriots RB Tony Collins. The Rockers ceased operations following their 2-10 season which saw the team's attendance fall by almost fifty percent. Team roster and stats HERE.

Here is a statement from the team that appeared in the Dayton Daily News:

The Cincinnati Rockers are dropping out of the Arena Football League, at least for the 1994 season, after their average per-game attendance plunged by about half last season. Tom Gregory, the team's president and general manager, said Thursday he hopes to find more investors so that the team can resume play in the 1995 season."This has been my baby for two years, so it's a tough time for me," said Gregory, whose family operates several Cincinnati restaurants. "I'm going to be optimistic and think, 'Yes, one way or another we'll have a team here for 1995.' "The Rockers averaged 13,883 fans per game and went to the league playoffs their first season in 1992. But they won just two games this season and attendance fell to less than 7,000 per game. The Rockers have paid the first installment of the league's $65,000 annual fees and will not have to pay anything further until they made a decision next year on the team's future, Gregory said.

Gregory later sold the inactive franchise to Connecticut investors and the ex-Rockers franchise became the Hartford-based Connecticut Coyotes in 1995. 

Remember Art's woes?

Schlichter, who had a history of gambling issues and was banned twice by the NFL, was once bailed out of jail by the Rockers after he passed a bad check. Here is an Associated Press story I found on line.

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