The American Arena League kicks off their inaugural season with three games being played in Week 1. The Richmond Roughriders face the High Country Grizzlies in Boone, NC, the Atlanta Havoc host the Florida Tarpons in Atlanta, GA and the Rochester Kings host the Jersey Flight in Rochester, NY.
All in all, 13 teams will compete in the AAL’s first season. It was supposed to be 17, but several teams have folded, one of those being the defending Can-Am Indoor champions Vermont Bucks. Despite the Bucks leaving, there are still two other former champs.
Richmond won the Arena Pro Football championship game in 2017, defeating the Tarpons in a closely-contested game. The Cape Fear Heroes won the Supreme Indoor Football (SIF) Championship in 2017 against the Triangle Torch, another team that joined the AAL. Other teams that joined include the Carolina Energy, Georgia Doom, Atlanta Havoc, Rochester Kings, Peach State Cats and Jersey Flight.
There are also two affiliate teams in the American Arena League in the New England Calvary and Austin Wild. Neither team play a full AAL schedule, but they are both looking to prove they can be a full-time team come the 2019 season.
The idea of the league came when the APF and Can-Am Indoor Football League merged to become one great league. Hype leading up to Week 1 has been very high from fans and players, as several star players have joined AAL teams, such as wide receivers Ryan McDaniel (ATL), Thyron Lewis (ATL), Christian Wise (GA Doom), Joe Hills (FL) among many others.
The season will run from March 17 until June 9. The postseason begins the weekend of June 16 with the inaugural American Arena League title game scheduled to be played on Saturday, June 30.