Good news for fans of arena football in the Capital Region: arena football is coming back to Albany. Albany County Executive, Dan McCoy, announced today that arena football would be returning to the Times Union Center.

The National Arena League announced that Albany will join its other nine teams. The new Albany team will sign a three-year deal to play at the Times Union Center.

Albany’s new team will be owned by the Orlando Predators in the National Arena League. Our new team has not been named yet, but in a press conference, the owners hinted that we would be called the “ Firebirds.”

We still don’t know who the coach will be, and we certainly don’t know when they will actually play. In spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, officials speculate that the league will play a 2021-2022 season.

Needless to say, fans in the Capital Region are extremely excited. Times Union General Manager Bob Belber said, “It’s like the sun coming out of the clouds. Some good news. With a new team coming into Albany, playing a sport that our fans have been so in love with for so many years.”

The last team we had here was the Albany Empire and they were here for two years before the league declared bankruptcy. They ended their final season last year bringing home the championship, I still want my ring from the championship win.

It will be good to have arena football back in the region, but I’m wondering how that’s actually going to happen. COVID-19 has changed the way all sports operate, from Little League to professional sports. We all want some normalcy in our lives, so hopefully having arena football back in the area will help us to gain some form normalcy back.

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