The Arena Football League and the Cleveland Gladiators announced today the team is suspending play for the 2018 and the 2019 seasons due to the Quicken Loans Arena transformation project. The transformation project, which is the first major renovation of the arena since it opened in 1994, is scheduled to take place between the Cleveland Cavaliers seasons the next two summers.
Due to the need to accommodate major construction elements, the decision was made to suspend play for the 2018 and 2019 seasons. The plan is to have the Gladiators return for the 2020 Arena Football League season once the transformation project at Quicken Loans Arena is complete.
The Cleveland Gladiators have been widely supported by its fan base over the years and averaged 10,173 per game last season. Many fans have questioned whether or not there are other options to have the next couple seasons played in Cleveland.
According to a post on the Cleveland Gladiators Facebook page, The Cleveland State University Wolstein Center which seats up to 13,610 is not a viable option. “Unfortunately there isn’t another arena in/around Cleveland that can provide the extended and required certainty of availability, game presentation and operational capabilities required for Gladiators’ games.”
After today’s announcement, the 2018 Arena Football League season currently has 5 teams which include the Albany AFL team, Baltimore Brigade, Philadelphia Soul, Tampa Bay Storm and Washington D.C. Valor.