With the National Arena League (NAL) expansion deadline right around the corner, potential markets are running out of time to get approved by the NAL Advisory Board to participate in the league’s 2018 season.
After a successful inaugural season in 2017, the NAL intends to increase its number of franchises and further expand its brand of football along the Atlantic Coast for the 2018 season. With more markets expected to be added in the next few days, the NAL’s future looks very promising.
Prior to the 2017 season, the NAL was home to eight franchises across the east coast of the United States and Mexico.
While the NAL still hosts eight teams, two of them are new to the league. With the Dayton Wolfpack and Corpus Christi Rage folding, the Jersey Flight and Richmond Roughriders have already been announced as expansion teams.
Although this is no surprise, the NAL retained their reigning league champions in the Jacksonville Sharks. After going 13-1 in regular season play, the Sharks won the first ever NAL Championship against the Columbus Lions.
With under a week until the NAL’s August 15 deadline, there are several markets that have already been approved in Orlando, FL; Boston, MA; and Providence, RI.
For a franchise to make it to the league’s 2018 season member list, obtaining an arena lease is essential.
When it was first announced that an NAL team would call Orlando home, my mind immediately went to the Orlando Predators.
If this franchise was to make a return via the NAL, this would reignite a heated Predators-Sharks rivalry. A fierce rivalry would attract fans from across the south-eastern region of the country and may be exactly what the league needs to draw attention away from more competitive leagues.
The Richmond Roughriders are on a roll entering their first season in the NAL and second in team history. After an undefeated campaign in 2017 as members of Arena Pro Football (APF), the team went on to finish their inaugural season as the APF Champions.
After the APF decided to cease operations following the 2017 season, team owner and general manager Gregg Fornario stated that the NAL holds great talent and wants to see his team compete against such talent.
Only time will tell if the next few days will be action-packed or lifeless for NAL fans. Only team and league officials are made aware of the progress towards adding expansion teams, leaving diehard fans in the dark as to expansion activity.
The only thing there is to do during times such as this is to turn your Twitter notifications on, find a book, and read it until another team is added to the NAL’s 2018 season member list (if another team is even added).