Arena Football League coming to Pittsburgh
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Pittsburgh will be home to outdoor hockey this winter and indoor football in the spring.
Multiple sources confirmed Wednesday that the Arena Football League is returning to one of its original cities with an expansion team whose ownership group includes former Steeler and NFL Hall of Famer Lynn Swann. An announcement is expected Friday at Consol Energy Center.
The indoor football team will play home games in the city's state-of-the-art arena, which opened last night.
Neither the Penguins nor the Steelers hold ownership stakes in the AFL team. Officials from both franchises and the AFL declined comment. Swann did not respond to an e-mail seeking comment.
The arrival of an AFL team continues a big summer for the Penguins, who will play their first regular-season NHL game at Consol Energy Center on Oct. 7.
The team pledged to bring big events to the region if a new arena were built. The AFL announcement will follow McCartney's first local arena shows since 1990. Last month, the NCAA awarded the 2013 Frozen Four — men's ice hockey semifinals and final — to Consol Energy Center, which will host the first and second rounds of the 2012 NCAA men's basketball tournament.
Penguins President David Morehouse said last month the team is trying to land NCAA wrestling championship tournaments, the NHL All-Star Game, the NHL Entry Draft and hockey's World Junior Championships.
The Pittsburgh Gladiators were one of the four original AFL franchises in 1987. The AFL's first game was played in the Civic Arena between the Gladiators and Washington Commandos. The Gladiators lost ArenaBowl I to the Denver Dynamite that season in a game played with the dome open at the Igloo.
The Gladiators relocated to Tampa Bay in 1991. Renamed the Storm, that franchise will try for its sixth AFL title Friday night in ArenaBowl XXIII in Spokane against the Spokane Shock.
The AFL returned for a 2010 season after financial problems forced the league to cancel its 2009 season. The league filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in December 2008, and all assets were liquidated. A league known as Arena Football 1 purchased those assets, which included league history and team names, and restored the AFL name in February before 15 teams began play in April. The league has a contract to have games televised on the NFL Network.
Pittsburgh will be the fourth city added for the 2011 season, joining former AFL members San Jose, Kansas City and Philadelphia.
For every year from 1988-2008, the AFL began play with at least one franchise having been relocated or dissolved. Famous AFL alumni who made an NFL impact include former Steelers quarterback Tommy Maddox and two-time NFL MVP Kurt Warner.Additional Information:
About the AFL
• The AFL uses a football equal in size and weight to an NFL football. Basic uniform components are the same, and touchdowns count for six points, but otherwise, the leagues differ in many ways.
• The AFL artificial playing surface is 85 feet long and 50 yards wide. Goal posts are 9 feet high, and end zones include rebound nets that are in play. Also, the surface is lined by 48-inch-tall sideline walls consisting of foam rubber.
• Eight players from a 20-man active roster are allowed on the field of play, with four offensive and three defensive players at the line of scrimmage. Blitzing is limited to one designated linebacker, and offenses are afforded one wide receiver to move forward while in motion before the snap.
• Scoring differences include drop-kick points (three for a post-touchdown conversion and four for a field goal).
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.