New Arena Football Team Leaning Towards Firebirds Nickname [VIDEO]
It's official—we're getting Arena Football back in upstate New York.
The group led by the owners of the Orlando Predators confirmed today that have agreed to a three-year lease with the Times Union Center. Three years speaks to the long-term commitment Capital Region Football fans were hoping for.
The head-scratcher for some of us was early on in the press conference when asked what the team nickname would be, the answer was they were leaning towards "Firebirds" and were still efforting to acquire the Empire name.
Time will tell if the COVID-19 pandemic will delay the start of the new team or if they'll be able to kick off in 2021. Time will also tell if the group is going to be able to acquire the Empire and Firebirds nicknames and what they'll do with them.
Per the Times Union Center press release:
Starling shared, “I am grateful for the opportunity to be able to bring such a wonderful sport back to my home state and fans.” Tridico also added, “We are excited to expand to this historic market and get started. We can’t wait for the 2021 season.” The NAL is currently made up of 9 teams; Columbus Lions, W.V. Roughriders, Carolina Cobras, Jersey Flight, Jacksonville Sharks, Louisville Xtreme, Tampa Bay, Baltimore Lightning and Orlando Predators. The NAL is thrilled to be expanding to the Albany region that has a great fan base and a rich tradition of winning. “The addition of this market is tremendous for the NAL,” stated Commissioner Chris Siegfried. “Adding Albany, the recent AFL champions, into our league is going to make for a ton of excitement in 2021. I’m really looking forward to all of the great matchups next season.” Jason Gibson, Expansion Committee Chairman added, “We are excited to add Albany to the NAL. Bringing Arena football back to the city was important for us as a sport, but also making sure we had the right ownership. Ron and Nate will run a first-class operation on and off the field. 2021 can’t get here fast enough.”