ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A grassroots campaign of dedicated arena football fans in the Capital Region want to bring the sport back.
The Arena Football League abruptly shut down last fall, and Albany Empire fans still feel the loss. “Albany was a perfect market for arena football, and we proved that,” says one Empress.
Average supporters at each game numbered 10,000, and fans want as many of them as possible to sign on to a Change.org petition demanding the return of the sport.
Empire fans felt a sense of community, they say, especially as the local team won the Arena Bowl championship in August.
According to Bob Belber, General Manager of the Times Union Center, Empire owners are eying the possibility of bringing back the team, so long as the coach and players agree to return.
The IFL and the NAL, the two remaining arena football leagues, signed many athletes who played in the AFL, and the cost of running a team in these leagues is lower than costs were in the AFL.
The team could start as early as the spring of 2021 if the owners see enough demand from fans.