If there’s one thing we love to cover here at HOTSPROTSTAKES.com, it’s crappy teams in crappy leagues that only exist because someone had the money to start it up, and little money to do anything else.
Which brings us back to the Dayton Wolfpack of the National Arena League.
Last we heard, there was a chance they were going to fold without ever having played a game. The good news is, that isn’t the case. The bad news, football fans in Dayton will still never get to see them play. At least in 2017
According to an article from Jacksonville.com, Dayton will spend the entire 2017 as a rogue team that plays every game on the road.
The Sharks are one of eight teams in the new league and will play a 12-game season beginning Friday, March 17. The league is located in mostly small cities including Columbus, Ga., Albany, Ga., Boone, N.C. and Allentown, Pa. The Dayton team will be a traveling squad, playing all its games on the road.
The league also has an international flavor with a team in Monterrey, Mexico
According to the Dayton Wolfpack’s Wikipedia page, the team attempted to sign an agreement with the Nutter Center, home of the Wright State basketball teams, and previously home to two indoor football teams as well as ECHL hockey, but could not finalize an agreement.
As a result, here is the Dayton 2017 schedule, which also screws over (but really probably helps) every team in the league, because they lose out on playing a 12th game. But they also no longer have to travel for a road game (or visit Ohio) so it’s probably a win.
Now, this type of thing happens all the time in low-level sports, but what makes this situation particularly embarrassing is that this is the first year for the National Arena League, and the first year for almost all of the teams in it with the exception of Jacksonville.
And they still couldn’t get this thing off the ground and running without having major problems.
I’ll be honest, with the cities the NAL had locked up, including Jacksonville, I thought this league had a chance to be legit and could be on-par with the CIF or IFL, but that doesn’t appear to be the case anymore.
You really have to feel for the players who are from the Dayton area or came to Dayton for a shot to play, only to be jerked along, wondering if you’ll play at all, then compromising and only playing games on the road. I can’t imagine they’ll be very competitive or have an easy time getting players to sign-on with that kind of schedule and agreement in place.
Again, indoor football in Dayton is a bad idea. As we noted in the previous post about the Wolfpack, they are the SIXTH indoor football team to try to play in Dayton since 1999. Six. In roughly 18 years, and none of those previous teams lasted longer than two seasons.
We’ll see if they can get things straightened out for next year, but I wouldn’t bet on them being around in 2018. Again, you have some money you’re looking to lose in a hurry, start an indoor football team in Dayton, Ohio.