Monumental Sports And Entertainment, the group that owns the Washington Wizards, Capitals, Mystics and Valor, announced it had acquired an Arena Football League expansion franchise in Baltimore, MD this morning.
“We are looking forward to bringing an AFL team to the Baltimore community,” said Monumental Sports & Entertainment founder and majority owner Ted Leonsis. “Baltimore is known for its passionate sports fans, and we look forward to their spirited support of their AFL team. The AFL is a fast, fun experience for families and fans of all ages. We are excited about growing the league and using an array of technologies to bring fans closer to the game and the players. Baltimore is a natural location, and I envision some great rivalries between Washington, Baltimore and Philadelphia.”
Leonsis now owns two of the five franchises in the league and is instantly the most important owner in a league who has four teams owned by an NBA or an NHL franchise: the route the league is looking at for it’s future.
With Baltimore added, the only question to ask is simple and not really a surprise: will San Antonio be the next expansion franchise in this league? It’s basically beating a dead horse at this point, but the San Antonio Spurs have wanted a team since they came up short of saving the San Antonio Talons in 2014.
The team owned a franchise in 1992 called the San Antonio Force. That team played in the old Hemisfair Arena, averaging 12,015 fans per game. They folded after one season because there were no available dates at the Alamodome, but the team was clearly a favorite with the city.
There are many people in San Antonio that would be great to bring the team back to the Alamo City, but the Spurs are the only ones that will work long term. They have a venue with plenty of open dates available in the AT&T Center, they fit the league model perfectly, and they know someone who could be potentially be the head coach: Lee Johnson, the former head coach of the Talons.
Perhaps the two most important games on the Spurs upcoming schedule from a business perspective come within the next two months: Nov. 26 and Dec. 2 against the Wizards, who now own two franchises in the AFL.