In a national press conference, Tulsa on Monday became the center of the new “Arena Football 1” league featuring a minimum of 16 member teams participating in the 2010 season.
Officials said 24 teams have submitted applications for membership and a second round of chosen members will be announced Oct. 9.
Supported by local business and civic organizations, Tulsa Mayor Kathy Taylor joined league officials in praising Tulsa’s selection as the league’s headquarters. Taylor congratulated team owners and the many staff involved in the intensive six-month effort to keep the game Jim Foster invented fan friendly and competitive.
“This is arena football,” Shreveport Battle Wings owner and a member of the Board of Directors of the Arena Football 1 League, Dan Newman stressed.
Jerry Kurz, Arena Football 1 commissioner said, “It gives me great pleasure to announce the new league of arena football teams," said Jerry Kurz, commissioner of Arena Football 1. "This is a brand new league. There has been arena football before and it has been done well, but not as good as it will be done this time.
“In addition, I am proud to announce that with the great help of Mayor Taylor, the Tulsa Sports Commission, economic development, and more people than I could ever take the time to talk about in inviting us to be here, our home for Arena Football 1 is here in Tulsa, Oklahoma," Kurz added.
Newman thanked city officials for their hard work, adding, “we feel strongly for arena football to headquarter here in Tulsa. It is a great honor for us. We love the city – it sparkles and everyone around the United States knows about Tulsa. Thank you for making this possible.”
According to officials, the initial sixteen teams and their respective markets are: Arizona, Arkansas, Bossier-Shreveport, Central Valley (Fresno, California), Chicago, Iowa, Jacksonville, Kentucky, Milwaukee, Oklahoma City, Orlando, Spokane, Tennessee Valley (Alabama), Tri-Cities Washington, Tulsa, Utah (Salt Lake City).
“Having been involved in the launch of both the Arena Football League and the Arena Football 2, our new structure will utilize the best aspects of both leagues,” Kurz said. “The time, effort, and thought process expended to create and launch Arena Football 1 has been impressive, and we expect arena football fans both across the country and internationally to be extremely pleased with our new product.”
Newman said, “Arena football has been around for twenty-three years. It’s been good, but with this transition to Arena Football 1 – our promise to our fans, to our staff, to our season ticket holders, to our sponsors, to our television audience is GET READY. Our game is going to be better than it has ever been and it starts today with Arena Football 1 in Tulsa.”