BRIAN BAER / Special to The Bee

Two fans look out at Raley Field before the start of the Mountain Lions' first home game there Friday night, against the Nighthawks.


Which team will more likely make it to the World Series?

Leading Off: Raley Field good home for Mountain Lions

Published: Sunday, Sep. 30, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 1C
Last Modified: Monday, Mar. 18, 2013 - 10:36 am

Ventured out to Raley Field to check out the Mountain Lions' opener Friday night – shocked the United Football League is still in business after the 2011 debacle – and came away with mixed feelings.

It's hard to get excited about players we've never heard of, many of whom met little more than a week ago. OK, we know quarterback Josh Johnson played four years in the NFL and was a late cut by the 49ers last month, and we know backup running back JD Washington has a famous pops, but beyond them?

Don't expect too many fans to require their fiancées to pass a Mountain Lions quiz before getting married.

The announced attendance of 8,023 seems like a reach, though certainly not as much as last year's announced (wink-wink) sellouts.

Though it's odd seeing a football field dropped into a baseball park, Raley Field is far more fan-friendly than Hornet Field was, and the crowd seemed to enjoy the atmosphere.

For as little as $8, spectators get real concessions – with a variety of food and drinks – real restrooms, little or no lines and plenty of room to roam.

We spent part of the game in the beer garden – 16 choices on tap! – hanging along the railing just yards from the end zone, admiring the view of the game – and the Tower Bridge, the Ziggurat and Sacramento beyond – on a beautiful fall evening.

Though the football won't be mistaken for the NFL, or even major colleges, the Mountain Lions offer another entertainment option.

Raley Field has been a great venue for minor league baseball – and now for minor league football, too.

What to watch

NFL, all day: 49ers-Jets at 10 a.m. (FOX40), Raiders-Broncos at 1:05 p.m. (Ch. 13) and Giants-Eagles at 5:20 p.m. (Ch. 3).

Today's poll

Which team will more likely make it to the World Series?

• Giants

• A's

• Both

• Neither

Vote above or leave your comments in the comments field; or go to

Friday's results

Who is to blame for the controversy over the replacement refs?

• Replacement refs: 8%

• Greed of regular refs: 20%

• Roger Goodell: 60%

• The media: 12%

Total votes: 303

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