The new Arena Football League will reboot with 15 teams this April, but Commissioner Jerry Kurz intends that number to grow in 2011.
Kurz and other notable names like Chicago Rush co-owner Mike Ditka and Arizona Rattlers President Danny White spoke on a conference call with the media designed to re-introduce the league.
Here are a few highlights:
* The league is targeting four markets for expansion in 2011: Philadelphia, Denver, Pittsburgh, and Southern California. Applications from many other markets will be considered. Kansas City was mentioned as a possibility as well.
* Kurz stressed the league would love to get the Philadelphia Soul team led by Jon Bon Jovi and Ron Jaworski back on board. Kurz said no one has done more for the league than Bon Jovi and his group. The new AFL has been in talks to bring the Soul back.
* There are no NFL owners involved with the 15 current teams. It’s believed Bernie Kosar, co-owner and president of the Cleveland Gladiators, remains in an advisory role with the Browns.
* NFL Network will broadcast live games on Friday nights at 8:00 p.m. ET for 18 weeks, starting April 2. Kurz believed being “associated with the best” was important. Other games will be carried in local markets. All games will be carried live online.
* Everyone stressed that all owners would participate in active management of the league. “The owners we have aren’t treating this is as a toy,” Ditka said. “It’s an investment.”
* One coach mentioned that the league could benefit from uncertain labor situations in the NFL and NBA.
And that’s about all the Arena Football league news for you this Wednesday. We haven’t spent a lot of time watching the sport, but more football is never a bad thing and we wish the reconstituted league good luck.