The Arena Football League is making (another) comeback, and St. Paul has found itself on the list of locations that Arena Football will be returning to.
The short-lived Minnesota Fighting Pike (really? That’s the best you could do?) played one season at the Target Center in 1996. They went 0-7 at home and 4-3 on the road (seriously this does team does not make sense).
Nobody knows yet what the team will be called (let us know in the comments what they should be called) although expect that to be announced soon... The newly reformed league is gunning for a remarkable April 2024 start.
“We are elated to come out of hibernation and make this announcement official,” CEO Anthony Rossi said. “Our objective when we acquired the AFL was to bring back a storied brand that deserved to be revived and showcased again, globally. We envisioned executing on the old saying ‘Bigger and Better,’ but this time, we want to incorporate the components of a modern-day business – streaming, betting, technology, virtual reality, and immerse fan engagement mixed with good old-fashioned iron-man football.”
At the helm will be former Golden Gopher and Twin Cities attorney Lee Hutton, who according to the AFL’s Press Release, is the first African-American sports commissioner in North American professional sports.
To me, Arena Football is like the Monster energy drink of North American sports. I’ve always found it too gimmicky, both on a foundational level and in its promotion strategy and on-field product. In my opinion, I don’t think this new AFL will change my mind.
Yes, the legendary Kurt Warner developed out of Arena Football, but that is a statement that I believe speaks more to Warner’s determination to make it as a player than the talent level of the league.
The rest of the teams will be based in Austin, Texas; Boise, Idaho; Bakersfield, Calif.; Chicago; Denver; St. Paul, Minn.; Lake Charles, La.; Cincinnati; Orlando, Fla.; Salem, Ore.; Philadelphia; San Antonio; Tallahassee, Fla.; Nashville, Tenn.; Everett, Wash.; and Odessa, Texas.
Read their previous February return announcement here. The AFL released their team markets on their Twitter and Instagram pages.
Anyone got an over/under on how many seasons it’ll go this time?