The BC Angels landed in Abbotsford on Thursday as a preview to the kick off of the inaugural year of the Canadian Lingerie Football League on Saturday.
The home team, garbed in green and blue, will be hosting the Regina Rage for the first game of the season at the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre at 8 p.m.
The controversial league has critics' panties in a knot as the LFL's attractive female athletes play seven-on-seven tackle football garbed in little but bras, short shorts and garter belts.
Mitch Mortaza, LFL chair and founder, spoke to the media at the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre on Thursday saying he has high hopes for the LFL in Canada and believes it will even surpass the success its enjoyed in the States.
The league has cited lingerie football as the fastest growing women's sport in the U.S. and boasts of sell-out crowds at major arenas and stadiums in the States.
The BC Angels, comprised of 20 players, introduced themselves to the media and ran a few plays for the photographers and television crews before starting practice.
It's still not clear whether the controversy will boost or hinder the LFL's success in B.C.
Jason Blumenfeld, AESC general manager, wouldn't comment on how ticket sales were going last week.
The LFL is a bit of an unknown and what the final numbers and demographics will be are bit of a mystery, he said.
It's also hard to say how much local support the league might get.
"We don't have expectations," said Blumenfeld.
"No one has ever seen it before. People might come out at first because they are intrigued."
Most AESC events that don't appear at other venues in Vancouver tend to draw patrons from right across the Lower Mainland.
The players, who mostly hail from outside of Abbotsford, will likely also draw support from their own communities, said Blumenfeld.
The league's history in the U.S. markets suggest that the biggest fan base will be men ranging in age from 18 to 35, he said,
"But I wouldn't be surprised to see women come out and watch."
Despite the firestorm associated with the LFL, it is simply another event at the AESC, he added.
"We respect everyone's opinion but these events are targeted at wide range of audiences," said Blumenfeld.
The AESC host a wide range of acts including Sesame Street shows, Cirque du Soleil, Christian concerts or heavy metal bands, he noted.
"It won't be any different in the community that day. And those that don't support [the LFL] don't have to buy tickets."
CHEK Television will broadcast the eight LFL's Saturday night games as well as the championship, the Lingerie Bowl I.
Besides the BC Angels, the LFL features three other teams: the Sasakatoon Sirens, Regina Rage and Toronto Triumph.
Only two of the regular season games will be played in Abbotsford, with the second game taking place at the AESC Sept. 29 when the Angels taking on the Toronto Triumph.
A free tailgate village featuring a barbecue, football challenges, video gaming lounge, a beer garden, live music and DJs is taking place at 5 p.m. on Saturday prior to the game at the AESC, 33800 King Rd.