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Breeze to host first-ever home playoff game Saturday

The D.C. Breeze will host a playoff game for the first time in their four-year history Saturday. (Photo Courtesy D.C. Breeze)

WASHINGTON — This may be considered widely by sports fans to be the dead week in the sports calendar, but don’t tell that to the D.C. Breeze.

Now in their fourth season, Washington’s American Ultimate Disc League team will host a playoff game for the first time in franchise history against rival New York Empire at Gallaudet University at 6:30 p.m. Saturday.

Mayor Muriel Bowser will be in attendance and will address the crowd at halftime. There will also be a live pregame performance from College Park band The Radiographers. And, as at every Breeze game, the local flavor will be rounded out with $5 pints of Atlas Brew Works beer.

“We have some extra buzz due to Mayor Bowser’s plan to visit and address our crowd at halftime to welcome the Breeze to D.C. and discuss the various initiatives we’re already working on to help grow the sport through D.C. Parks & Recreation and D.C. Public Schools,” said Don Grage, Breeze co-owner.

The team has been holding clinics in conjunction with DPR’s youth camps this summer, and is hoping to expand Ultimate’s presence in DCPS in the future.

As for the game itself, if it’s anything like the prior matchups with the Empire, drama should not be in short supply. The Breeze and Empire met three times during the regular season, with D.C. coming out on top by a single goal in each game. The Breeze bookended a 15-14 road win with 23-22 and 27-26 home victories over New York, each coming in double overtime. So the playoff matchup comes with plenty of drama.

“You can’t get much closer than that, or have this game against a more exciting opponent,” Grage said.

If the Breeze win, they’ll advance to play at three-time defending champion Toronto in the East Division Finals for the chance to go to the final four Championship Weekend Aug. 6-7 in Madison, Wisconsin.

Tickets are $10 in advance or $12.50 at the door. Gates open at 5:15 p.m. for the 6:30 p.m. start, and there is free parking on the Gallaudet campus next to the venue.

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