National Arena League

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National Arena League
Current season, competition or edition:
Current sports event 2017 National Arena League season
National Arena League.png
Sport Indoor football
Founded 2016
Inaugural season 2017
Commissioner John Gregory
No. of teams 8
Country United States
Mexico
Official website NationalArenaLeague.com

The National Arena League (NAL) is a professional indoor football league that began its first season in March 2017.

History

Originally called the Arena Developmental League

Originally called the Arena Developmental League (ADL), it was founded in June 2016 by Columbus Lions owner Skip Seda and father Keke Seda in the wake of several small indoor leagues folding and teams jumping to other leagues. The league began play in March 2017 and, while not affiliated with any other leagues, plans on developing players to be looked at by scouts in the Arena Football League (AFL), Canadian Football League (CFL) and National Football League (NFL). In their introductory press conference, the league announced former AFL, af2, and CFL head coach John Gregory as its first commissioner and former AFL and af2 head coach Chris Siegfried as director of football operations. Charter teams began being announced in July 2016 with the Columbus Lions and Lehigh Valley Steelhawks joining from the defunct American Indoor Football.[1][2] On July 21, the High Country Grizzlies announced their ADL membership after initially being announced as an AIF expansion team.[3] On August 11, the Dayton Wolfpack were announced as the league's fourth team.[4] On September 13, the ADL added the Georgia Firebirds from the AIF as the fifth team.[5] On September 21, the league announced its sixth team to be from Highland Heights, Kentucky, owned by Northern Kentucky Professional Indoor Football LLC headed by W. Leland Bennett III. Bennett was one of the owners of the Northern Kentucky Nightmare, a travel team that played in the AIF the previous season, but no name for the ADL team was announced and the franchise was removed from the league when the league later changed names. In October, the ADL added the Anderson Gladiators from Anderson, South Carolina, but were removed from the league in November due to arena lease issues.[6] The Gladiators have since announced their intentions to join Supreme Indoor Football instead. On October 17, the Corpus Christi Rage held a press conference announcing it had joined the ADL (although the ADL did not confirm until October 28).[7] On October 20, the ADL announced that the Fort Myers area-based Florida Tarpons were joining the league.[8] However, the Tarpons would also withdraw from the league on November 10 to join the upstart Arena Pro Football.

On November 18, 2016, the league announced it had changed its name to National Arena League. As part of the change in name, the league management was also restructured so that it was no longer managed by Lions' owner Skip Seda, but was instead managed by all member teams equally. Later that day, the league added the former Arena Football League team, the Jacksonville Sharks. On November 30, the league added the Monterrey Steel from Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico, becoming the first American indoor/arena league to house a Mexican team as well as the first in fifteen years to house a team from outside the United States.[9] In order to satisfy the Sharks' contract with their arena, they were given eight home games in the 12 game season. To balance the uneven scheduling, the Corpus Christi Rage and Dayton Wolfpack each only were given five home games while the other five teams each had six. This was changed again when the Wolfpack apparently never were able to secure an arena lease, despite announcing they would play at the Nutter Center and signed players were reporting on social media that all players had been cut. As of February 20, 2017, all Wolfpack home games were cancelled.[10]

Staff

Teams

Map of teams

Current members

Team Location Arena Capacity Founded Joined Head coach
Columbus Lions Columbus, Georgia Columbus Civic Center 7,573 2006 2017 Jason Gibson
Corpus Christi Rage Corpus Christi, Texas American Bank Center 10,000 2016 2017 Steven Fillmore
Dayton Wolfpack Dayton, Ohio Travelling team (based in the Atlanta area) 2016 2017 Kerry King-Brown
Georgia Firebirds Albany, Georgia Albany Civic Center 8,436 2009 2017 Antwone Savage
High Country Grizzlies Boone, North Carolina George M. Holmes Convocation Center 8,325 2016 2017 Josh Resignalo
Jacksonville Sharks Jacksonville, Florida Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena 13,011 2009 2017 Siaha Burley
Lehigh Valley Steelhawks Allentown, Pennsylvania PPL Center 8,500 2010 2017 Chris Thompson
Monterrey Steel Monterrey, Nuevo León Arena Monterrey 17,599 2016 2017 JA Anderson

Announced expansion

Team Location Arena Capacity Founded Joined Head coach
Jersey Flight[11] Trenton, New Jersey Sun National Bank Center 10,500 2017 2018 Jake Grande

Former members

  • Anderson Gladiators – Initially announced as an expansion team for the ADL's inaugural 2017 season but were later removed by the league. Joined Supreme Indoor Football instead.
  • Florida Tarpons – Played in American Indoor Football's final 2016 season and was announced as an ADL member on October 20, 2016. Announced they had joined the new Arena Pro Football for the 2017 season instead.
  • Northern Kentucky – An unnamed team created from the former travel-only team that played in the AIF in 2016 was initially announced as an inaugural ADL team. Team was removed when the ADL changed names to the NAL.

References

  1. ^ Lions owner Seda establishes new Arena Developmental League, Dana Barker, Columbus Ledger-Inquirer, July 7, 2016
  2. ^ "Steelhawks Announce Arena Developmental League Affiliation". OurSports Central. July 19, 2016. 
  3. ^ "Grizzlies Announce New Affiliation". OurSports Central. July 21, 2016. 
  4. ^ "Dayton Wolfpack Announce Intentions to Join ADL". ArenaDL.com. Arena Developmental League. August 11, 2016. Retrieved August 11, 2016. 
  5. ^ "Georgia Firebirds to join Arena Development League". The Albany Herald. September 13, 2016. 
  6. ^ "Weekly Sports League & Franchise Report". OurSports Central. November 7, 2016. 
  7. ^ "Ceremony held for new Corpus Christi Rage arena football team". KIII. October 17, 2016. 
  8. ^ "League to Welcome Former Two-Time Champion Florida Tarpons". ADL. October 20, 2016. Retrieved October 20, 2016. 
  9. ^ "NAL Goes International". NAL. November 30, 2016. Retrieved November 30, 2016. 
  10. ^ "NAL's Dayton Wolpack set to become a travel only team". Arena Football Talk. February 20, 2017. Retrieved 7 April 2017. 
  11. ^ "JERSEY FLIGHT FOOTBALL, INC. Announces kick-off of the Jersey Flight Arena Football Team". Gloucester City News. March 10, 2017. 

External links

  • National Arena League's official website
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