Founding members of Kiss
, Gene Simmons
and Paul Stanley
hope to establish a similarly broad fanbase with their newest project, a partnership with the Arena Football League as owners of an Anaheim-based expansion team known as "LA KISS," USA Today
"The whole idea of an alternative to what has perhaps become a corporate sport is very intriguing, and resonates with us,"
Stanley told USA Today Sports
by phone. "We've always tried to be a band that relates to everybody, and the AFL is built on that whole premise."
Though the band's logo will be incorporated into the team's uniforms, and though Stanley and Simmons hope to bring their understanding of live performance to the team's home games at the Honda Center, the pair emphasized that they aim to create a true football experience.
"There's been a lot of attention to detail, to nuances, so that people don't think this is a rock band in football helmets,"
Simmons said. "This is real football, and this is good for the game."
Added Stanley: "We wouldn't put LA KISS on a football helmet if we didn't believe we could kick it out of the park."
Los Angeles has not seen professional football since two previous AFL franchises folded before the league canceled its 2009 season. Both Los Angeles-based NFL teams left the city after the 1994 season. KISS will run the team in conjunction with veteran AFL executive Brett Bouchy
, who recently sold his interest in the Orlando Predators
"We don't want to wear too many hats,"
Stanley said. "When it's appropriate, we will defer to the people who have experience with this. We're bringing something new to the party.
"We're not going to be passive players in this,"
Simmons added. "We're really going to be a part of this thing."
Kiss will perform the halftime show for the league's championship game, Arena Bowl XXVI, in Orlando, Fla. on Saturday. And though its members did not commit to playing regularly at LA KISS games, Stanley said he planned to attend home games with his family "as a point of pride."
Asked if the new AFL owners will endorse their team's players wearing eye-black and face paint indoors, Stanley said, "We'll leave that to the people who are better suited to make those decisions. But I personally think a little black under the eye looks very good."
The team will sell season-ticket packages starting at $99, and Stanley and Simmons hope that with their expertise, the club's games will emerge as a low-cost alternative to other live sporting events in the area.
"It's exciting beyond anything that we've thought about before, to be given the privilege of really starting out bringing the amount of showmanship we brought to a rock band called Kiss,"
Simmons said. "It's going to be that kind of in-your-face entertainment, whether you're a football fan or not."