China Arena Football League founder Marty Judge announced Wednesday that the league’s second season, which was supposed to kick off in September, will now be played in Spring 2018, around the same time the Arena Football League will play its 31st season.
“Our first season, in the fall of 2016 was a huge success,” Judge said. “We learned many things from our tour of six great cities. Since then we have been working hard to put those lessons to work in order to ensure our long-term success. To that end, we have decided to shift our season to next spring, rather than the fall.
“By moving to a spring/summer season, our research shows us that we can better attract the Chinese fans to our arenas, and to our video platforms. This will make our CAFL business model even stronger.”
The main goal in playing the CAFL and AFL at the same time is to eventually lead to a world championship game between the two leagues. Judge is hopeful the game, whenever it takes place, will happen in Beijing, China.
“I have always dreamed of a true World Championship for professional arena football. By moving our CAFL season to the spring, we will mirror the season of the United States AFL, the 30-year established leaders in the sport, which could make that game possible,” Judge said.
In addition to postponing their second season, the league has announced they will also be expanding from six teams to eight. There are already two new teams in the Wuhan Gators and Shenyang Rhinos. Two teams from the first season, the Dalian Dragon Kings and Shenzhen Naja, are no more.
The CAFL’s first season, known as Super Series I, took place from Oct. 1 to Nov. 5, 2016. The Beijing Lions defeated the Qingdao Clipper in China Bowl on a field goal as time expired. Here’s to hoping there’s more of the same in Super Series II.