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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Arena Football: New 16-team league plans April kickoff

Creators of a new 16-team arena football league were short on answers during Monday's press conference from Tulsa, Okla., site of the league offices, other than to say competition is scheduled to begin in April.

Dave Affleck, owner of the Utah Valley Thunder, now part of the new Arena Football 1, was confident that the league will provide "the highest level of arena football."

League members include teams from the defunct Arena Football League and its minor league affiliate, AF2. Jerry Kurz, former AF2 commissioner, is the AF1 commissioner.

"This is a brand-new league," Kurz said. "This isn't any previous league. It isn't a combination of leagues. It's a brand-new league."

Kurz deflected questions about potential player and coach salaries and a player draft, as well as the league's financial structure. Player and coach signings will begin Nov. 1. Kurz said more information will be announced Oct. 9.

Included among the 16 cities are Boise, Idaho; Fresno, Calif.; Spokane, Wash.; and the Kennewick, Wash.

"It will be the same game that was in Salt Lake City when the [AFL's Utah] Blaze played," said Affleck, who will move his team to West Valley City. "It won't be anything like the AFL had for salaries. It will be more like an AF2 type of salary structure."

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