Lingerie Football League gains local toehold


Besides looking good in a sports bra and boy shorts, confidence is one of the main prerequisites for a Lingerie Football League player.

"I don't know anybody who can play in their underwear in front of millions of people and not be confident," said Mitch Mortaza, founder of the LFL, which is in its second season and will add a Las Vegas franchise in the fall of 2011.

It also doesn't hurt if the players can throw and catch a football, though most of the league's fans probably have a hard time keeping their eyes on it.

"First and foremost, they have to be athletic, because if you're just beautiful, we're not going to be able to do much with you," said Mortaza, who found a way to utilize several attractive players Wednesday in a news conference at New York-New York's The Sporting House Bar & Grill.

After a short countdown, the women took off their bathrobes to unveil the tight, skimpy uniforms for Lingerie Bowl VIII, a pay-per-view event that will be played for the first time in Las Vegas at the Thomas & Mack Center on Feb. 6 at halftime of Super Bowl XLV.

The Super Bowl also will be broadcast on site, and, because tickets can't be sold to an event in which the Super Bowl is broadcast, all tickets to Lingerie Bowl VIII will be free.

Those interested can request up to four per person, on a first-come, first-served basis, starting at 3 p.m. Friday at UNLVtickets.com.

Mortaza, who is billing the event as the world's largest Super Bowl viewing party, expects tickets to go quickly.

"We expect a crowd of 20,000-plus, standing room only," he said.

Spurred by the success of the Lingerie Bowl, Mortaza started the 10-team LFL in 2009, with the Tampa Breeze, Philadelphia Passion, Miami Caliente, Baltimore Charm, Orlando Fantasy, Chicago Bliss, Los Angeles Temptation, San Diego Seduction, Dallas Desire and Seattle Mist.

Las Vegas' team name, coach, logo and home venue will be revealed during Lingerie Bowl week, which also will feature a media day and other events.

Mortaza expects Las Vegas' LFL team to play three home games in one of the town's major venues, either the Thomas & Mack Center, MGM Grand Garden, Orleans Arena or Sam Boyd Stadium.

He said the average ticket price for an LFL game, which is played at 9 p.m. on either Friday or Saturday, is about $55 and that crowds range from 8,000 to 15,000 per game.

MTV2 recently started broadcasting LFL games at 11 p.m. PDT on Fridays.

Angelica Bridges, a strawberry blonde who has appeared in Playboy and is the former star of "Fantasy," a topless revue at the Luxor, was showcased Wednesday as a leader of the Las Vegas team.

A former high school volleyball player, track athlete and cheerleader from Missouri, Bridges is eager for action.

"I couldn't be more excited," she said. "I think it's going to be the best team in the league just because of the location."

Recent Western High School graduate Erika Reynada is one of several local players on the Las Vegas squad.

The 19-year-old played flag football in the past, along with high school volleyball, soccer and softball, but is eager to give tackle football a try.

Reynada said her father told her about the LFL. But her mother doesn't like the uniforms. "She's appalled. She's like, 'Are you serious, Erika?' " Reynada said. "But it's just like a bathing suit, honestly."

Contact reporter Todd Dewey at tdewey@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0354.

 

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