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  1. #1
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    ARENA FOOTBALL BACK TO DES MOINES!!!

    hahaha i am PUMPED!!!



    http://desmoinesregister.com/apps/pb...50/1003/SPORTS

    Copyright 2007, Des Moines Register and Tribune Company

    Arena football will return to Des Moines next year for the first time since 2001, a league official said Friday.

    Jerry Kurz, commissioner of arenafootball2, said Des Moines will be among as many as six cities to receive expansion franchises in the 30-team minor league for 2008. New franchises already have been granted in Albuquerque, N.M., and Biloxi, Miss.

    Final approval for Des Moines will be granted once negotiations for a lease to play in the Iowa Events Center's Wells Fargo Arena are concluded, Kurz said.

    "We are pleased that we will be returning for the 2008 season to Des Moines," Kurz said. "We have to go through several formal steps yet, but there is no doubt in my mind that there is unanimous support for this."

    Matt Homan, general manager of the Iowa Events Center, confirmed that he and former Iowa Barnstormers owner Jim Foster have met to discuss lease issues several times but declined to comment further.

    Arena football would return to a city that embraced it from 1995 to 2000 as part of the senior league, but rejected the minor-league, or af2, version a year later.

    The original Iowa Barnstormers played in two championship games and attracted strong fan support, despite Des Moines having the smallest population base among Arena Football League cities.

    Kurz said league officials would use the new minor-league indoor football team as a test to see whether the city could support the return of an Arena Football League franchise in the next three or four years. The popularity of that league has grown with owners like former National Football League quarterback John Elway and rock star Jon Bon Jovi.

    Arena Football League, or AFL, owners recently voted to consider Des Moines for an exemption from their market-size rules at Foster's request, Kurz said.

    "Des Moines belongs back in the arena family," Kurz said.

    An arena-football franchise is likely to be the third minor-league professional team operating at Wells Fargo Arena.

    The Barnstormers would join the Iowa Stars of the American Hockey League and a likely franchise in the National Basketball Association's Development League. An announcement on an NBA D-League franchise is expected sometime next week.

    Foster, credited as the inventor of arena football, said he is putting together an investment group that would initially own the af2 franchise. Foster said, however, that he would at most hold a minority ownership share and that the group or an individual investor would control the franchise. The cost to acquire a new af2 franchise is about $500,000.

    "I am working to bring a team back to Des Moines because I love the city and I see how much it has grown over the last few years," Foster said. "It also reverses what was the toughest business decision I ever made in my career."

    Foster's AFL team was sold in 2000, moved to Long Island and renamed the New York Dragons. Foster sold the franchise in 2000 because of escalating player costs. The club lost more than $250,000 in one season.

    The recent decision by sports television network ESPN to take an equity position in the AFL is reason for Des Moines to be hopeful about the league's long-term health, Foster said.

    ESPN has entered a five-year deal that includes a minimum of 26 televised games per season, beginning this year. The network will televise 17 regular-season games and nine playoff games on ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC, and provide a nationwide prime-time game Monday nights on ESPN2.

    "Things have changed so much since the Barnstormers were sold in 2000," Foster said. "The franchise was one of the legendary ones and could be again if there is support for it."

    Kurz said that construction of 15,500-seat Wells Fargo Arena was a key development but that other factors help determine success or failure.

    "Des Moines is a tweener city for us like Louisville, Oklahoma City or San Diego. They have a lot going for it, but it isn't a sure thing that those communities could support an AFL team," Kurz said. "You can't support a franchise on ticket sales alone anymore."

    Kurz said that he has no doubts that a new Barnstormer franchise would be popular on either the af2 level or AFL level with ticket-buying fans but that sufficient corporate support would be just as important.

    "You need the entire array of revenue sources," Kurz said.


    Iowa State: Anyone who's a true college basketball fan needs to see a game at Hilton Coliseum. Nice is in the DNA of Iowans and the fans here are particularly gracious -- even when the home team loses but gives a great effort, they are appreciative.

    ESPN.com picked Hilton Coliseum as the "Hot Arena" in the Big 12...coaches in the league noted that, "regardless of talent, the Cyclones have a home court like no other."

  2. #2
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    Re: ARENA FOOTBALL BACK TO DES MOINES!!!

    Awesome... I loved barnstormer games.


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  3. #3
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    Re: ARENA FOOTBALL BACK TO DES MOINES!!!

    Those escalating player costs haven't gone down since 2000, that's for sure.

    People will hardly pony up $15/ticket to see good hockey at the Well. Not sure how much they'd look to get per ticket for AFL, but I would bet around $30. Would be interesting to see if they can be successful.



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    Re: ARENA FOOTBALL BACK TO DES MOINES!!!

    Whoa. *Shakes head* I care so little I almost passed out.



  5. #5
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    Re: ARENA FOOTBALL BACK TO DES MOINES!!!

    I only wish it was the top arena league...

    Good news though.



  6. #6
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    Re: ARENA FOOTBALL BACK TO DES MOINES!!!

    Or is this the AFL and not AFL2...hard to tell for sure...



  7. #7
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    Re: ARENA FOOTBALL BACK TO DES MOINES!!!

    Who cares, its fun to watch!


    @RandomGeoFacts

  8. #8
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    Re: ARENA FOOTBALL BACK TO DES MOINES!!!

    it is the afl2 but the reason is to make sure des moines can support a team.. in 3-4years it could change to the AFL


    Iowa State: Anyone who's a true college basketball fan needs to see a game at Hilton Coliseum. Nice is in the DNA of Iowans and the fans here are particularly gracious -- even when the home team loses but gives a great effort, they are appreciative.

    ESPN.com picked Hilton Coliseum as the "Hot Arena" in the Big 12...coaches in the league noted that, "regardless of talent, the Cyclones have a home court like no other."

  9. #9
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    Re: ARENA FOOTBALL BACK TO DES MOINES!!!

    afl2. If they do well enough they are going to try to lure afl 1 back.


    They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. - Benjamin Franklin 1775

  10. #10
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    Re: ARENA FOOTBALL BACK TO DES MOINES!!!

    Meh....then color me less than impressed. It's still good...yet they'll struggle to fill the seats after the "newness" wears off.



  11. #11
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    Re: ARENA FOOTBALL BACK TO DES MOINES!!!

    Awesome... I loved barnstormer games.
    We agree on something. Is hell freezing over?


    I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everyone.

  12. #12
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    Re: ARENA FOOTBALL BACK TO DES MOINES!!!

    Even AFL 2 is exciting to watch, they put up just as many points as AFL and gives locals a chance to see local college top performers that may not get a chance to play other wise.



  13. #13
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    Re: ARENA FOOTBALL BACK TO DES MOINES!!!

    Area football is a lot like hockey for me. I can't stand to watch it on tv, but get me their live and I having the time of my life.
    It is nice to hear Des Moines getting back into it.



  14. #14
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    Re: ARENA FOOTBALL BACK TO DES MOINES!!!

    I've never been to an AFL game but I like to watch when I catch the game on TV. I'll probably buy a few tickets though and make trips to watch.



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    Re: ARENA FOOTBALL BACK TO DES MOINES!!!

    I am excited about getting AF back in Des Moines, just not sure I am too hip on Jim Foster being involved.



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