Minnesota Getting New Professional Football Franchise As Duluth Becomes Home To Arena League Team
A new professional football league has started announcing locations for teams that will start competing in 2024. One of the cities that will play home to a franchise in this new league will be Duluth, Minnesota.
Duluth becomes the second city announced as a home city for the new league, called The Arena League. This new arena football league is being helmed by former NFL star Tim Brown, who is serving as the league's chairman and commissioner.
Earlier this winter, the league announced 10 finalists in the selection of sites that could host a team for their inaugural 2024 season. Duluth and Rochester, Minnesota were both named as finalists on that list.
The league announced at the beginning of March that its first franchise will be coming to Springfield, Missouri. At a media event today at The Garden Wedding & Event Center in Canal Park, Duluth was officially announced as the second of four teams that will kick off the league's first season next year. A variety of local figures, including Duluth Mayor Emily Larson spoke at the event.
The yet-to-be-named team will play its home games at the DECC Arena, starting in the summer months of 2024.
In a radio interview on Tuesday morning, commissioner Tim Brown expressed that Duluth fans held a high level of excitement about the idea of a team coming to the city during the league's voting for finding home sites for franchises.
Dan Hartman from the DECC said "We are very proud to be hosting The Arena League", also commenting "Football at the DECC will be a remarkable experience from sight lines to close proximity to the action all the way through the post-game autograph sessions".
The dates for the inaugural season will go from early June through mid-August, with the playoffs in August. Each team will play 8 regular season games, plus a home preseason game.
The public will have the opportunity to play a role in the naming process for the team. According to a timeline provided by the league during their press event, the "name the team" contest will kick off later in April, with a name being announced in May of this year. The naming process got underway after today's announcement, with the ability to make name suggestions and get additional information via the team's temporary website (until the team is named) here.
More details on the team timeline will see the team's logo unveiled in June, along with the team's general manager. August of this year is when the team will announce a head coach and a uniform contest will kick off in September.
The team's uniforms will be unveiled in October, with other events leading up to the June 2024 kickoff also scheduled.
Single-game tickets will be $15 for adults and $10 for kids 12 and under. Additional ticket information, including higher-end experiences and other ticket packages, will be delivered at a later date.
What makes The Arena League different? This fast-paced game will be played on a 50-yard indoor arena with 15-man rosters that emphasize younger athletes and fan input and interaction. Unlike other arena leagues that field 8 players, The Arena League will field 6 players.
Commissioner Brown said fans will get the opportunity to get unique perspectives on the game, including hearing in-game from coaches and players including playcalling. The officiating will also be different, with only one official on the field, with the remaining officials in a booth. Officials will also be "held accountable", and the overall game will hold an emphasis on a quick pace of play and a fun and interactive experience for fans.
You can follow updates on the league, including playing a role in the naming, logo, and uniform design process on the team's website.