Anytime a team changes leagues it raises many questions for fans, and in this article we will attempt to answer all of them. The biggest, and most glaring question is: What is the American Arena League 2?
Founded in 2017, by Tony Zifiretto, Jack Bowman, and Tim Veins, the league began play in 2018. Born from a merger of two leagues: Can-Am Indoor Football, and Arena Pro Football (originally American Indoor Football). What began as just an alliance between the two leagues turned into a full fledged merger with the league heading into 2018 with ten teams. Midway through 2018, despite most of the teams coming from the Tim Veins owned Can-Am league, Veins walked away giving up rights to the league, and his lone remaining team.
Series of Mergers Creates AAL
At that point the former APF owners, now in control of the entire league began to more or less erase Tim Veins from their short history. One thing that was a staple in this original version of the league was scheduling issues, and a continuous flow of teams in and out of the league. It almost seemed as if every season was a mad rush to try and scrape together teams, and make a full schedule work.
Prior to the 2020 season the AAL absorbed another semi-professional arena league, the Mid-Atlantic Indoor Football League. Coming with it was five teams upon the original announcement. Thanks to COVID the AAL was not able to play a 2020 season forced to instead sit on the sidelines waiting it out like many other leagues. It wasn’t until March of 2021 that the league would relaunch, and limp to the finish of the 2021 season losing multiple teams along the way. Finally in June of 2021 the league was sold to the ownership group of the Jersey Bearcats and Indianapolis Enforcers.
Originally American Arena League 2 was launched to be the developmental league for the original American Arena League. The AAL2 was expected to launch in 2022, but instead the league owners opted to postpone. This year delay meant the media cycle was dry, but what wasn’t happening on the surface, was happening behind the scenes. The new ownership group was taking the necessary steps to make their league much more stable than the past iterations.
2023 Rebirth of the AAL2
The 2023 season was completed with seven teams each team played seven games. Four teams advanced to the playoffs with the Jersey Bearcats and Steel City Stampede coming out on top.
The Jersey Bearcats (6-1) won the 2023 Championship over the Steel City Stampede on July 8th, 2023.
Ethan Garubard from the Bearcats had this to say: “My experience with the AAL2 was great. I joined late in the season, but from my experience no complaints really. I was happy to continue playing.”
The AAL2 is looking for teams that are climbing the ladder to legitimacy at this level, and doing so the right way. That’s where the Dallas Falcons come in. After operating as a travel only team in 2023 with the American Indoor Football Alliance (AIFA), formed from teams that once made up the AAL, the Falcons have leapt the opposite way. Heading to a league that seems to be building toward something a lot more solid than what the AIFA provided in 2023.
It sounds like, the Falcons ownership, and the ownership of the AAL2 see eye to eye on that fact and are hoping to build something great in 2024. Owner Tyrone Washington had this to say “I chose the AAL2 to further develop my organization and get more knowledge on sponsorships and partnerships as well as guarantee we play a full season for our fans”
Finding a home was step one for the Falcons which they have secured. Step two was finding a well thought out, and meticulously planned league with a long term vision. Step three? Begin building a roster.
While the Falcons as a team have been alive for multiple seasons now, every year there is some turn over on these rosters. It’s impossible to go from year to year without signing new players at least at a few positions. Not to mention the fact that as a team, you should always be looking for a way to upgrade your team.
With that in mind the Dallas Falcons will be holding try-outs for the 2024 season. The first ones will be on November 12th and November 18th at Big League Dreams in Mansfield, Texas. This is your chance to be among the first members of the Falcons first year in the AAL2.
Players, if you are looking to continue your career, and get film for your future, come out and show us what you’ve got. To sign up visit the website beginning next week!!
Also check out the Shady Sports Network YouTube Channel for an upcoming podcast featuring some of the Falcons players.