Manchester Wolves and af2 Will Continue Operations in 2009
MANCHESTER, NH-- The arenafootball2 league (af2), the official development league of the Arena Football League (AFL), will continue to operate as usual and WILL play in 2009 - the league's 10th anniversary season, the af2 league office announced today.
The af2 operates entirely on its own and is not directly affected by the AFL's current situation. The Manchester Wolves, owned by a solid group of local businessmen, are financially stable and strong.
The af2 is supported by 25 team ownership groups that are personally and financially committed to operate in 2009, a sound and sensible economic structure, and a league office which operates efficiently.
The AFL announced today that the League's Board of Directors have decided to suspend the 2009 season subject to agreement and cooperation with the Arena Football League Players Association while the League works on developing a long-term plan to improve its economic model.
"Today's decision by the AFL will not affect our preparation for a successful 2009 af2 campaign," said af2 President Jerry Kurz. "We're excited by the addition of Milwaukee to our league family and feel that this, our 10th anniversary season, will provide our fans with the most competitive and most entertaining year ever."
The 2009 af2 schedule was finalized and released in early Novem ber. Since then, all af2-member teams have been busy building rosters, selling season tickets and hiring additional staff as necessary in preparation for the 2009 season.
The af2 is also coming off one of its most successful campaigns in 2008. Last season was the fifth time in nine (9) seasons that the league's total attendance figure topped one million fans. The campaign was capped off by the best attended ArenaCup championship game in league history.
The future of the af2 stands on solid ground as well as evidenced by the addition of two new expansion teams already committed for the 2010 season (Toledo, Ohio - Toledo Bullfrogs; Worcester, Mass.). The league has also expanded its corporate support by developing multi-year relationships with two brand new league partners - Aaron's and Russell Athletic - to join current proud supporters such as Schutt, Spalding and Network Foundation Technologies (NFT).
Thanks to NFT's patented online broadcasting technology, "af2TV" was developed and successfully implemented in 2008. In the inaugural season of af2TV, close to 250,000 online viewers from all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and 40 nations from five different continents logged in to view af2 games throughout the 2008 season. This FREE-for-View online network will once again showcase every game of the league's 10th anniversary season live over the Internet beginning in March.
The Manchester Wolves, which open their 2009 campaign on the road against defending East Division Champion Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Pioneers on Friday, March 27, have announced their entire season schedule. Manchester's home opener is April 18 against the Albany Firebirds.
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