Arena Football Returns

Arena football is back in the Burgh. Consol Energy Center will be the home of Pittsburgh’s expansion team, which will start play in 2011. Pittsburgh, of course, had the Gladiators from 1987-90. The short-lived franchise played its home games at the Igloo.

My question to you: Is this exciting news? Personally, I’m ambivalent. I always felt arena football was a bastardized version of the real thing, but I’ll probably check out a game or two for the novelty factor. Part of me says, “Who the hell wants to watch football in the summer months?” The other part thinks that arena football will be a better option than the Pirates come June.

The one thing I’m curious about is potential scheduling conflicts with Consol’s main tenant, the Pens. From what I’ve read, the AFL season kicks off in April. The NHL regular season ends in early April, but then the playoffs begin. Issues would almost certainly arise. Obviously, a situation like this isn’t unprecedented. And, obviously, the Pens would trump the soon-to-be named AFL team should any problems arise. It’s just an interesting dynamic because this will be the first time the Pens have had to share its arena with another sports team in years.

Personal feelings aside, this is another triumph for the city and for the new venue. Now if we can just convince the UFC to come to town…

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