af2 adds New Haven, Connecticut

by af2 Press Release
June 25, 2001 - arenafootball2 (af2)

50 Yard Indoor War Invades New Haven

af2 Press Release

NEW HAVEN, CT - The league office of arenafootball2 announced today that New Haven, Connecticut has received unanimous approval from the af2 Board of Directors as the newest addition to the planned expansion for the 2002 season.

The team will be operated by New York Islanders (NHL) owner Charles Wang, who brings an Arena football team to New Haven with first-hand knowledge of the impact of the sport. Wang is also owner of the AFL's New York Dragons, who are averaging close to 10,000 fans in their first season in the Nassau Coliseum on Long Island.

"The rabid football fans of Connecticut are going to love Arena Football and their af2 team," said Wang. "From my experience with the Dragons, I know there isn't a faster, more exciting game. And I don't know of any sport where the fans can go on the field after the game and get autographs from all of the players. Arena Football is going to be a big hit in New Haven."

From its inception in 2000, af2 has grown from fifteen teams to twenty-eight teams for the current season, and is on course to add an additional ten to fourteen teams for play in 2002. The strategic plan of arenafootball2 concentrates on the development of regional divisions designed to minimize travel costs and create local rivalries.

The af2 was created as a league of opportunity for players, fans, officials, and sports enthusiasts across the country that could not otherwise experience professional football. Af2 features the same heart stoppin', helmet poppin', in your face football as the AFL. After the 2000 season, 33 af2 players graduated to the AFL, seven players have moved to NFL training camp rosters, and five players are currently playing in NFL Europe. Standout Dragons receiver/defensive back Shon King is a product of the af2 system. King was an all-star and won a title with Quad City (Iowa/Illinois) last year before getting the call from the Dragons for the 2001 season.

"We are very pleased to have New Haven aboard as our newest member of the arenafootball2 family," said af2's Executive Director Mary Ellen Garling. "We are positive that the experience and enthusiasm of Charles Wang, coupled with the great sports fans of New Haven, will make this a great market for arenafootball2."

The management staff for the New Haven af2 team will be headquartered at the New Haven Coliseum, where all home games will be played. Details of a "name the team" contest will be announced shortly. Fans can lock up season tickets starting today with only a $25 deposit by calling (203) 503-6011.

New Haven marks the fifth arenafootball2 expansion team for the 2002 season; af2 previously announced Bakersfield, CA, Mobile, AL, Albany, NY and Manchester, NH. This year's Championship game, ArenaCup 2001, will again be televised in prime-time on The National Network ("TNN") on Friday, August 10 at 8:00 PM ET/PT. The 2001 af2 playoffs begin on July 27/28.

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