The Arena League

Professional American arena football league
The Arena League
Upcoming season or competition:
Current sports event 2024 The Arena League season
SportSix-man arena football
Founded2023
First season2024
CommissionerTim Brown
No. of teams4 (+2 planned)
CountryUnited States
Related
competitions
AIF, AFL, IFL, NAL
Official websitethearenaleague.football

The Arena League (The AL or TAL) is a six-on-six indoor American football league in the United States. The league launched in 2024 with four teams.

History

The league was first announced in February 2023, with Pro Football Hall of Famer Tim Brown as TAL Commissioner.[1] The league then released a list of ten semi-finalist markets, which people could vote for the city to be a part of the inaugural season: Waterloo, Iowa; Kansas City, Missouri; Springfield, Missouri; Rochester, Minnesota; Little Rock, Arkansas; Rockford, Illinois; Dubuque, Iowa; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Duluth, Minnesota and Wichita Falls, Texas with fans casting their votes at TAL official website.[2]

The first city announced was Springfield[3] with Duluth being the second city.[4] Waterloo was announced on May 4 as the third team.[5] Kansas City was the fourth and final team announced for the inaugural 2024 season.[6] The league anticipates expanding in the forthcoming years, including adding two teams for the 2025 season,[7] with hope to expand to 12 teams by 2026.[8] In September The AL released the 2024 schedule.[9]

On October 19, 2023 the Waterloo Woo announced their owners and changed their team name to the Iowa Woo.[10]

On April 5, 2024, the league released a list of five markets, which people could vote via a poll on their website for the city to be an expansion franchise beginning in the 2025 season. The five markets included: Dallas, Texas; Eau Claire, Wisconsin; St. Joseph, Missouri; Hot Springs, Arkansas; and Rochester, Minnesota, which was a part of the inaugural season voting. On April 25, 2024, the league announced that Hot Springs would be the first expansion team and will begin play in 2025.[11] The league has also announced a second expansion team in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

Rules

The Arena League's rules aim to highlight the player's athleticism and increase the pace of play. The field will be traditional arena football size, measuring 50 yards long and 85 feet wide enclosed by padded walls. Teams will have 15-player rosters with the game being played with six offensive players against six defensive players. The league will follow a one-platoon system with offensive and defensive players playing both sides of the ball. There are no restrictions on defense. The play clock runs 20 seconds from the spotting of the ball, the same as the Canadian Football League. No offensive huddles are allowed unless a timeout is called.

As is the case with traditional six-man football as played at the high school level, all offensive players are eligible receivers with three players initially lined up in an offensive line position. The quarterback cannot run the ball past the line of scrimmage. The league uses the "double forward pass" rule, originating in the XFL, that allows two forward passes to be thrown on the same play so long as the second pass is from behind the line of scrimmage.

All players and coaches will communicate with helmet communication systems that fans will be able to listen to in real time. Kickoffs will be replaced with a quarterback throwoff, with an onside conversion option (akin to that seen in Fan Controlled Football and Alliance of American Football) available. All forms of kicking the ball are prohibited, including punts and field goals.[12]

There will only be one on-field official to mark and set the ball and make penalty announcements. There will be sky judges watching live video feeds to decide penalties in real time.[13] Coaches and fans will have access to the referee interactions. After each game, fans can give feedback on the referees performance.

Teams

Team City Stadium Capacity Joined Head coach
Duluth Harbor Monsters Duluth, Minnesota DECC Arena 5,333 2024 Tony O'Neil
Iowa Woo Waterloo, Iowa The Hippodrome 5,155 2024 Mook Zimmerman
Kansas City Goats Kansas City, Missouri Municipal Arena 9,987 2024 Dorsey Golston III
Ozarks Lunkers Springfield, Missouri Wilson Logistics Arena 4,500 2024 Cam Bruffett
Future teams
Team City Stadium Capacity Founded Joined Head coach
Hot Springs Hot Springs, Arkansas Bank OZK Arena 6,050 2024 2025 TBD
Eau Claire Eau Claire, Wisconsin Sonnentag Event Center 3,250 2024 2025 TBD


class=notpageimage|
Current team locations in blue; future team locations in red.

Season format

The inaugural season of The Arena League will have a nine-week regular season schedule with each team receiving one bye week with playoffs to follow. The season will run from June to August 2024.[14]

ArenaMania

On April 6, 2024, the league announced that the championship game will be known as ArenaMania.[15]

Results of ArenaMania games
Game Date Winning team Losing team MVP Site Attendance
2024 August 10, 2024 TBD TBD TBD Higher seed

Media

TAL team media deals
Team TV Station(s) Radio Station(s) Notes
Duluth Harbor Monsters Northland Fan 106.5 FM and 560AM[16]
Eau Claire
Hot Springs
Iowa Woo KCRG-TV[17] [a]
Kansas City Goats
Ozarks Lunkers KYTV[18]
  1. ^ The team is partnered with KWWL as the exclusive news source.

Business

Former IFL Commissioner, Tommy Benizio, an advisor for the league and his corporation will operate and run the teams until, he hopes, business leaders in the community decide they want to be a part of it and own and operate a team.[19] The league would later announce owners for all four locations.[20][21][22][10]

On December 4, 2023 former Dallas Desperados executive Ronnie Davis was appointed as Deputy Commissioner.[23]

J.R. Bond leads a small group financing the league; Bond is a political advisor in Kansas City and has served as owner of several professional sports teams including the Sioux City Bandits, Topeka Tropics, and Topeka Golden Giants. [24]

Personnel

  • Tim Brown - Commissioner and League Chairman
  • Ronnie Davis - Deputy Commissioner
  • Tommy Benizio - League advisor
  • Dr. Michael Kuban - Director of Officials
  • J.R. Bond - Financial Group Leader

References

  1. ^ "The Arena League is here!". Facebook.
  2. ^ "NFL Hall of Famer Tim Brown looks to bring arena football back to Springfield". The Heartlander. 15 February 2023.
  3. ^ Wheeler, Wyatt D. (9 March 2023). "'The Arena League' football is coming to Springfield in 2024. Here's what to know". Springfield News-Leader. Retrieved 6 April 2023.
  4. ^ Malcomb, Jamey (6 April 2023). "NFL Hall of Famer Tim Brown announces Duluth to receive Arena League team". Duluth News Tribune. Retrieved 6 April 2023.
  5. ^ Brown, Chelsie (4 May 2023). "The Arena League bringing a professional football team to Waterloo in inaugural season". KCRG. Retrieved 5 May 2023.
  6. ^ "Weekly Sports League and Franchise Report; June 19, 2023". oursportscentral.com. 19 June 2023.
  7. ^ "Duluth Media Packet" (PDF). The Arena League. Retrieved 28 July 2023.
  8. ^ "Waterloo Arena League football team name unveiled". KWWL. 28 June 2023.
  9. ^ "Our 2024 Regular Season Schedule is here!". Facebook.
  10. ^ a b "New owners and name announced for Waterloo's arena football league". KWWL. 19 October 2023. Retrieved 20 October 2023.
  11. ^ Rice, Bryan (26 April 2024). "Arena League football comes to Spa City in 2025". The Sentinel-Record. Retrieved 26 April 2024.
  12. ^ "Rules". The Arena League. Retrieved 7 April 2023.
  13. ^ "The Arena League Referees". youtube.com.
  14. ^ McClure, Jeffrey F. (6 September 2023). "The Arena League releases schedule for 2024 season". Northern News Now. Retrieved 7 September 2023.
  15. ^ "Inaugural season. Four teams. One goal". Facebook. Retrieved 6 April 2024.
  16. ^ Cooper, Nick (24 January 2024). "Duluth Harbor Monsters arena football team partners with The FAN 106.5 as exclusive radio home". Northland FAN. Retrieved 6 April 2024.
  17. ^ "KCRG to air Arena League Football". KCRG. 21 May 2024. Retrieved 22 May 2024.
  18. ^ [KY3 broadcasting Ozarks Lunkers Arena League Football games https://www.ky3.com/2024/05/28/ky3-broadcasting-ozarks-lunkers-arena-league-football-games/ "KY3 broadcasting Ozarks Lunkers Arena League Football games"]. 28 May 2024. {{cite news}}: Check |url= value (help)
  19. ^ Wheeler, Wyatt D. (9 March 2023). "'The Arena League' football is coming to Springfield in 2024. Here's what to know". Springfield News-Leader. Retrieved 6 April 2023.
  20. ^ "Duluth arena football team names owner". Duluth News Tribune. 28 July 2023.
  21. ^ "The Arena League brings Kansas City Goats, unique indoor football experience to town". The Kansas City Star.
  22. ^ "Owner reveals name for Springfield's new Arena League football team". KY3. 14 June 2023.
  23. ^ "The Arena League is appointing Professional Sports executive Ronnie Davis as Deputy Commissioner, under Commissioner Tim Brown, to serve the league and its teams through the inaugural 2024 season". Facebook.
  24. ^ Cullinan, Mike (17 March 2023). "Arena football league selects Springfield for first team". Springfield Business Journal. Retrieved 30 July 2023.
  • v
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The Arena League
Founded in 2023
Teams
Future teams
  • Hot Springs (2025)
  • Eau Claire (2025)
Seasons
  • v
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Professional gridiron football leagues in North America
Major
Other
Defunct national
Defunct regional
Major
Predecessors
Junior
Current
Defunct
On hiatus
Outdoor
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Arena football
  • X League (2009–present)