Arena Football League adds Baltimore for 2017

How can this be pulled together?

by Brandon Rush | @BrandonRush |

As if the Arena Football League couldn’t be more of a shell of it’s former self, it was announced Monday that Baltimore will be awarded a franchise and will play in 2017.

An entire franchise from the ground up in four and a half months? Building a roster after you already had a dispersal draft from teams folding shop in 2016? A team owned and managed by a group that already has a team?  Talk about setting yourself up to fail.

Either way, Baltimore will join the AFL as one of the last major market cities who haven’t yet been home to a team in the league, and considering the consistency of franchises in the league, I wonder how long this will last.

Here is the release from Monumental Sports:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Monumental Sports & Entertainment (MSE) today announced the acquisition of an Arena Football League (AFL) team, which will play at Baltimore’s Royal Farms Arena starting in the spring of 2017. The soon-to-be-named AFL team joins the Washington Valor as the newest teams in the AFL.



The team is currently conducting a search for a head coach, who will oversee Baltimore’s football operations and assemble a staff and roster.



“We are looking forward to bringing an AFL team to the Baltimore community,” said Monumental Sports & Entertainment founder and majority owner Ted Leonsis. “Baltimore is known for its passionate sports fans, and we look forward to their spirited support of their AFL team. The AFL is a fast, fun experience for families and fans of all ages. We are excited about growing the league and using an array of technologies to bring fans closer to the game and the players. Baltimore is a natural location, and I envision some great rivalries between Washington, Baltimore and Philadelphia.”



Monumental Sports & Entertainment also owns the NBA’s Washington Wizards, NHL’s Washington Capitals, WNBA’s Washington Mystics and the AFL’s Washington Valor as well as acquiring an ownership stake in aXiomatic, which owns esports franchise Team Liquid.



“Baltimore is an ideal location for the Arena Football League and we look forward to rivalries with other AFL cities including Washington and Philadelphia,” said AFL Commissioner Scott C. Butera. “This expansion also demonstrates the dedication of our strong ownership group and its commitment to expanding the Arena Football League as a premier source of sports entertainment.”



The Arena Football League was founded in 1987 and concluded its 29th season in 2016 with 20 million fans across the United States.



“We are excited to bring another team to the Arena Football League,” said Roger Mody, a member of the Monumental Sports & Entertainment ownership group and managing partner for the Washington Valor and the new Baltimore team. “The thrill of arena football games coupled with the passion of Baltimore fans will make this new acquisition an exciting one.”



Fans can secure their season tickets for the Baltimore arena football team with a $50 deposit per seat by calling 667-930-0200 or by visiting Ticketmaster.



Royal Farms Arena, Baltimore’s largest indoor sports and entertainment facility, has long been considered an anchor, which contributed to the growth and prosperity of Baltimore.



Royal Farms Arena is City-owned and privately managed by SMG, the world leader in management of public assembly facilities.



The Arena is host to more than 800,000 guests annually, and home to the MISL Champion Baltimore Blast Indoor Soccer team.

With the addition of the Baltimore franchise, the Arena Football League currently has five teams, with none residing west of Cleveland.

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