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Arena Football Returns...Sort Of

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Sep 29, 2009 4:20PM

Fans of the Chicago Rush, mourning the folding of the original Arena Football League, can now rejoice. Arena Football is coming back to Chicago, though it won't be the Rush, exactly. A new league - Arena Football 1 - will start play in 2010, featuring teams from the original AFL, new teams in old AFL cities, and teams from the AFL's offshoot afl2 league. But! This is a completely new league. According to a report by the Associated Press (via Deadspin):

Commissioner Jerry Kurz said it would be a "brand-new league" not connected with the AFL or af2.

"There has been arena football before," said Kurz, a former af2 commissioner. "It's been done well but not as good as it's going to be done this time."

Kurz said more details of the league's business structure — including what the players might be paid — will be announced during the coming weeks. He said the league would use a schedule similar to that used by the AFL and af2, with games starting in late March or early April and running through the summer.

The league will feature 16 teams, use rules identical to the AFL and afl2, and will be based in Tulsa, Oklahoma. So who will be in the league? Four former AFL cities: Salt Lake City, Chicago, Phoenix and Orlando. According to media reports, the Phoenix and Orlando teams will be those cities' old AFL teams (the Arizona Rattlers and the Orlando Predators) but SLC and Chicago will have new teams. Other smaller markets include Bossier-Shreveport (La.), Little Rock, Fresno, Des Moines, Jacksonville, Lexington, Milwaukee; Oklahoma City; Spokane, Huntsville, AL (woo! Get season tickets, Mom!), Kennewick, WA, and Tulsa. The league is also in negotiations with seven former AFL teams including Tampa and San Jose.