August 09, 2018
Could Atlantic City be involved in the Arena Football League’s next expansion efforts? Ron Jaworski sure seems to think so.
According to a report from the Press of Atlantic City’s Dave Weinberg on Thursday, a new team down the shore could be a reality as soon as next spring, when the 2019 season begins.
It seems like a quick turnaround, considering the team hasn’t even been announced yet, but Jaworski, who has been a majority owner of the AFL’s Philadelphia Soul since 2011, sounds extremely confident.
“It's going to happen,” Jaworski told the Press of A.C.
That sure is declarative.
Jaworski clarified that there are still moving parts, but a phrase like "it's going to happen" is hard to walk back.
The AFL has undergone a number of contractions since the 2014 and 2015 seasons, dropping from 14 teams during the 2014 season down to four teams this past season. The league’s average attendance in the 2018 season was just 7,601, the lowest mark since 1989.
The state of New Jersey, of course, is starved for its own professional sports teams. New Jersey currently boasts just three pro teams: the NHL’s New Jersey Devils, the NWHL’s Metropolitan Riveters (women's ice hockey), and the NWSL’s Sky Blue FC (women's soccer).
Atlantic City hasn’t had a professional sports team in town since the Atlantic City Surf, an independent minor league baseball team that played in the Can-Am League, folded in March of 2009. Interestingly, the Surf are also currently trying to return to the city.