Arena football season heating up
With the National Football League's season hitting the home stretch, fans looking to continue their football fix will be glad to hear that the Arena Football League and arenafootball2 seasons are right around the corner and just getting ready to heat up.
The AFL league office made two key announcements this week; one that ESPN has not only acquired national TV rights to the AFL but will also have a minority stake in the 19-team indoor league and that EA SPORTS will release the sequel to last year's top-selling AFL video game, entitled Arena Football: Road To Glory, for PlayStation2 on February 27, 2007.
ESPN will have a regular Monday night slot in which it will televise 14 games from March through June. The ArenaBowl title game in New Orleans will be July 29 on ABC, which also will show two regional season openers on Sunday afternoon, March 4. In all, 26 regular-season and nine postseason games will be televised on ESPN/ABC outlets. ESPN also will have multimedia rights in the five-year deal that includes everything from Internet to radio to publishing to international distribution.
Last year, more than 65 million television viewers watched AFL games on NBC or a variety of cable outlets that included Fox Sports Net, OLN and Comcast. The league currently is in negotiations with those networks, plus NFL Network and satellite radio for other broadcast packages.
"ESPN is a perfect fit for the sport of Arena Football," said Wolves General Manager Angelo Mazzella. "Arena Football has really established itself as a main sport in America and this deal with ESPN helps to prove that, I'm excited about the partnership."
EA SPORTS' release of Arena Football: Road to Glory will have more than 40 teams made available and for the first time the user can play as their favorite AFL or af2 team. In addition, players can take the af2 circuit by storm by winning the ArenaCup then export their players into the AFL and set their sights on an ArenaBowl championship. The game brings back the excitement and experience of hard-hitting, high-scoring intensity of 50-yard goal line-to-goal line battles. Players can dominate both leagues by scoring at will and wreaking havoc on their toughest rivals with huge hits that send players into-and over-the walls. The game's official website is www.easports.com/afl2.
"Having your own video game this day and age really helps market yourself and your product," added Mazzella. "My generation remembers John Madden as a great football coach, while my kids' generation knows him solely for his video game. I think this will only help solidify the AFL and af2's brand awareness to more fans."
Currently the Manchester Wolves have four players from their 2006 team that signed with an AFL squad after the Wolves second-round playoff loss in August; Brian Mance (Philadelphia Soul), Steve "Speedy" Gonzalez (Philadelphia Soul), Steve Bellisari (New Orleans VooDoo) and Wendall Williams (Nashville Kats).
Don't miss another exciting season of Manchester Wolves football in 2007 which will kick off on March 30 th in Wilkes-Barre Scranton! Season ticket packages for the Wolves are available in all levels and don't forget to go online and check out the new merchandise line. For information on season tickets, or merchandise, fans can contact the Wolves at 603.627.WOLF (9653) or visit them on the web at www.manchesterwolves.com.
MANCHESTER WOLVES 2007 SCHEDULE
Day Date Opponent Time
Saturday March 31 @ W-B/Scranton Pioneers 7:00 PM
April 6/7 BYE WEEK
Friday April 13 @ Green Bay Blizzard 8:30 PM
Saturday April 21 Fort Wayne Fusion 7:05 PM
Saturday April 28 Mahoning Valley Thunder 7:05 PM
Friday May 4 @ W-B/Scranton Pioneers 7:00 PM
Friday May 11 Albany Conquest 7:05 PM
Friday May 18 @ Bossier-Shreveport Battle Wings 8:30 PM
Friday May 25 @ Mahoning Valley Thunder 7:05 PM
Friday June 1 Tulsa Talons 7:05 PM
Friday June 8 Albany Conquest 7:05 PM
Saturday June 16 @ Florida Firecats 7:30 PM
June 22/23 BYE WEEK
Saturday June 30 South Georgia Wildcats 7:05 PM
Saturday July 7 @ Cincinnati Jungle Katz 7:30 PM
Friday July 13 W-B Scranton Pioneers 7:05 PM
Saturday July 21 @ Albany Conquest 4:00 PM
Saturday July 28 Florida Firecats 7:05 PM
* All Wolves home games are in bold and are played on Brady Sullivan Field at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, N.H.
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- Arena football season heating up - Manchester Wolves
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