Arena Football Back (Again) Where It Belongs
Fans of arena football in the Capital Region are getting some good news: Football is coming back to Albany. And the National Arena League is getting even better news, you're coming to Albany. As lucky as we are to have the announcement of area football back in our area, this league is even luckier to have us; the best fans in the history of arena football.
We don't have know what the team will be called, who the coach will be, if any of the star players from last years championship roster will be on it; heck we don't even know with the pandemic when the games will start. But we do know this, Albany doesn't care. As long as the quality of football is solid, fans will be satisfied.
And we deserve it.
For as much as local fans have been scorned by arena football over the past 30 years or so, we can't stop loving it. We've had two championship seasons over the years, 1999 and 2019, and neither team had a chance to raise a banner in Albany the following year. The Firebirds were ripped from us and taken to Indiana, and the Empire saw it's league fold as well as a little thing called the pandemic.
But here we are, as fans, excited as ever about the return of something that never should have left us in the first place. Albany is a superb arena league city and over the years, we've proven that we may have the greatest fans this league has ever seen. If you go back and look at attendance numbers from the Arena Football League in it's peak years in the 90's, teams were regularly drawing anywhere from 10-15 thousand people a game. Only one area fan base still draws those types of numbers now, and that's Albany.
Albany is to arena football, what Netflix is to home viewing. The other franchises are merely Blockbuster Video.
I love nostalgia as much as the next person, and the Firebirds hold a special place in my heart. But so do the Empire. They were a first class operation run by quality people with exceptional players who were very active in the community. I'm fine with whatever they decide. Firebirds or Empire; either way it's a win-win.
But today, fans are happy and we deserve this team as much as this team deserves us. The only thing we need now is a coach, some players, a schedule, some sponsors and oh yeah, a team name. But either way, we'll be here watching, rooting and supporting them.
Because that's what Albany does.