ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Whereas the Duke City Gladiators have solely been round for a number of years, the staff has generated a really supportive fan base. Some have taken it so far as getting a Gladiators tattoo and tailgating over 4 hours previous to kickoff.
“They welcomed me with open arms,” mentioned superfan Matt Garcia. “It felt like this is a family and it’s right to be here.”
Garcia has been a Gladiators fan for the reason that inaugural 2015 season when the staff performed at Tingley Coliseum and has solely missed one recreation since then. He mentioned whereas he enjoys different sporting occasions, corresponding to Lobos video games, nothing comes near the Gladiators.
“I go to a lot of other games, but the Gladiators games are by far the best games out here in New Mexico,” Garcia mentioned.
Fellow superfan Deborah Corridor has comparable emotions about supporting Duke City. She identifies as a “football junkie” and in addition has been attending video games since 2015.
“It’s accessible,” Corridor mentioned. “You can meet the players, you can talk to them, you can touch them, they’re real. They’re here, they’re good.”
Duke City has 4 playoff appearances in franchise historical past, in addition to two league titles. When the Gladiators received their first CIF championship, Corridor celebrated the win by getting the staff emblem tattooed on her arm.
The Gladiators are in place to make one other run within the playoffs this 12 months. After a gradual begin to the season, first-year indoor quarterback Ramone Atkins has made Duke City propelled the offense to one of many prime within the league and put the staff again in postseason rivalry.