The 2009 home opener for the Butler Grizzlies on Sept. 12 against the Garden City Broncbusters has been moved to Wichita’s Cessna Stadium.


The 2009 home opener for the Butler Grizzlies on Sept. 12 against the Garden City Broncbusters has been moved to Wichita’s Cessna Stadium.

The Grizzlies athletic department decided to move the game after drawing more than 12,000 fans last year in Butler’s game against the Blinn Buccaneers.

The game is called the Jayhawk Showcase and involves two teams ranked in the Jayhawk Conference — the two-time defending national champion Grizzlies are the top-ranked school in the NJCAA poll, while the Busters are ranked 22nd.

“We are very excited to be playing at Cessna Stadium again,”?said Butler coach Troy Morrell. “Last year was an awesome atmosphere and shows that the people in the Wichita area are hungry to see exciting, big-time college football action.”

Butler was 11-1 last year on the way to its sixth national championship. Garden City was 6-4 in 2008, playing two close games against the Grizzlies (34-29 in the regular season and 24-19 in the regional semifinals). Butler has won eight consecutive Jayhawk Conference titles and 10 of the past 11, while Garden City won the league title in 2000 and 1997.

At halftime, the 1999 Butler football team will be inducted into  the Grizzly Athletic Hall of Fame. That team, led by future NFL players Rudi Johnson and Shaun Smith, lost to Garden City in the regular season in overtime, but won in the Jayhawk Conference championship game before beating Dixie College 49-35 in the Dixie Rotary Bowl in St. George, Utah to win their second straight national title.

James Shibest, the coach of that team who is now an assistant at the University of Mississippi, will be at the game as well as various members of the team.

Tickets are $8 for general admission and $15 for reserved seating. At the gate, general admission will be $10. Tickets for children under 14 and active military with proper identification will be $5.

Kickoff of the game will be at 7 p.m. and there will also be a pre-game tailgate party in the area south of Koch Arena. There will be activities for children, music and a hot dog feed. It is free with a game ticket.