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Arena Football League hopes to be in SoFla for '06


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Arena League hopes to expand to South Florida in 2006




Associated Press



MIAMI - Arena Football may expand to South Florida in time for either the 2006 or 2007 season, the league's commissioner said Monday.


David Baker said he has spoken with officials from both AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami and the Office Depot Center in Sunrise several times, including in recent days, about the possibility of placing a team in either facility. No deals have been reached, and no ownership group has been chosen.


"I think there's a good chance we could be in Miami for our 20th season or possibly the year after that," said Baker, who has led Arena Football's surge from virtual anonymity to a viable league that has television contracts with NBC and Fox Sports Net. "My staff has sat down with both arenas multiple times."


Arena Football already has two Florida franchises. Tampa Bay has won the ArenaBowl a record five times; Orlando is a two-time league champion and four-time runner-up.


The league, with 17 teams this season, opens its 19th year Jan. 28.


"We've had talks about a lease situation down there, and we're still trying to work out the ownership," said Baker, whose son Sam Baker is a starting offensive lineman for Southern California, which plays Oklahoma for the national championship Tuesday night at the Orange Bowl.


Arena games are played on a 50-yard field with padded walls serving as sidelines. The game lacks offensive tackles and tight ends, running plays are rare, balls kicked or thrown off giant nets above each end zone are in play, and most players are "Ironmen" in the league lexicon, meaning they play offense and defense.


The league has enjoyed a surge in popularity in recent years. Country singer Tim McGraw recently signed on to be a part-owner of Nashville Kats, former NFL coach Mike Ditka is a minority owner of the Chicago Rush, Hall of Famer John Elway owns the Colorado franchise, and Jon Bon Jovi is part of the Philadelphia ownership group. Plus, nine NFL franchise owners are affiliated in some capacity with the Arena League.


"It is a great product. It's always been a great product," Baker said. "We have so many great names into it, and these are guys who love football. They're not going to be part of anything that's counterfeit."



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Office Depot Center was home to the former Florida Bobcats. The Miami Arena was home to the former Miami Hooters, but the AmericanAirlines Arena has never hosted an Arena Football Game.


and they didn't do well here(attendence). And actually before that, the Bobcats played in west palm beach at the old arena, which I believe is now a church. Arena Football has become so much more popular over the last few years. For 2 seasons, I was able to work the arena games in Tampa and let me tell you, they put on a good show. If they come, I highly recommend attending.

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Guest Moneyball

Maybe the guy who bought the Miami Arena submits a proposal for a team to play there, so he doesn't look like a fool when the Miami Arena makes him no money on that plan he has envisioned.


Doubt it though...

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We have an AF2 team here in the Quad Cities and the games are a blast.


Very good time.





Yeah, I went to one of their games a few years back when they went undefeated.


Yep the steamwheelers. I think that was the first year of the AF2 when we went undefeated. I think we won a game 103-3 during that season. I went to one of the playoff games and we won by about 60... lol

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I know this is like comparing tangerines and grapefruits but I'm thrilled about the Miami Morays coming to town. Ethenic Sands!


well thats not really tangerines and grapefruits since its all indoor football. im all over season tickets for the morays. itll be cool to see ethenic and maurice sykes come back to miami

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