FOLKS,, we’ve seen a lull in hot arena football news but that ends today! We’ve got a whole big bunch of arena football league news, including a new team, one former team joining a new league and one league changing its name.
Let’s start with the BIG news, according to the Baltimore Sun, Baltimore will be getting a team that will start play in 2017 also. The team is owned by Ted Leonsis, the owner of the Washington Valor, who will also begin play in 2017.
That bring the Arena Football League to five teams for the 2017 season, after four teams folded or moved leagues during the off-season.
I have no way to prove this, but I would bet on at least one more AFL team being added before the start of the season so the league has an even six teams. Call it a hunch.
One of the teams that left the AFL this off-season, the Jacksonville Sharks, has apparently found a new league to play in.
According to Channel 4 in Jacksonville, the Sharks have joined the National Arena League.
When I read that I thought, “Wait, what’s the National Arena League and why am I just hearing about it now?”
Well, it turns out that the NAL is just the Arena Development League, which was created this off-season as a “development league” for both Arena Football and the NFL, despite not being affiliated with either.
The Arena Development League’s Facebook page is still operating, while a National Arena League page was created on Nov. 15.
Jacksonville’s addition to the NAL brings the league to eight teams, including Columbus, Georgia; Corpus Christi, Texas; Dayton, Ohio; Albany, Georgia; Boone, North Carolina; and Allentown, Pennsylvania.
That’s only seven teams, which brings us to the hot rumor about that league: THAT THEY WANT A TEAM IN MEXICO! Oh hell yeah. Put it on the beach, no roof, so it’s arena football that isn’t in an arena. Profit.
Of course renaming yourself comes with some consequences, as the NAL announce that the Northern Kentucky Nightmare will no longer be joining the league, and the Florida Tarpons have left to join the really shady looking and sounding Arena Pro Football league.
- According to Wikipedia, Arena Pro Football is scheduled to start its inaugural season in March of 2017.
The league lists eight teams, but only have five full-time members listed, Birmingham, Alabama; Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; Richmond, Virginia; and a team named the Carolina Wildcats that have not determined what city they are in.
In addition to those three, there are three affiliate members who will play games against APF teams, the Central Florida (Lakeland) Jaguars and Palm Beach (Florida) Phantoms, both of the Elite Indoor Football Conference, and the Coastal Outlaws in Savannah, Georgia of United States Indoor Football.
Amazingly, Both Central Florida and Palm Beach are scheduled to play their games in Lakeland for 2017.
So, to recap all this crazy news:
- Baltimore is getting an AFL team for 2017.
- Jacksonville has joined the NAL
- The Arena Development League is now the NAL
- Northern Kentucky is no longer in the NAL
- The Florida Tarpons have joined Arena Pro Football
Got all that? Good, because this will all probably change in two weeks when half of these teams/leagues realize they don’t have any money to actually play.