Albany Team Moves to Indianapolis
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) _ The Albany Firebirds of the Arena Football League moved their franchise to Indianapolis on Thursday.
The league’s board of directors approved the move, the second this week. On Tuesday, the New England franchise left Hartford for Toronto.
The Indiana team will be named the Firebirds and will begin competing next April at Conseco Fieldhouse in the nation’s 12th largest market. The arena also is home to the NBA’s Pacers and WNBA’s Fever.
``This is an important step for the emerging sport of Arena Football, making another footprint in a big-time major league sports city,″ AFL commissioner David Baker said. ``Indianapolis is a terrific fit for Arena Football, supported by first-class ownership and marketing partnerships, as well as one of the nation’s premier professional sports facilities.″
The Firebirds spent 11 seasons in Albany, qualifying for the postseason nine times. In 1999, the Firebirds defeated Orlando 59-48 to win the league title. In their 11-year history, the Firebirds had an 88-59 record, the fourth most wins in Arena Football League history.
The AFL will kick off its 15th season with a high membership of 19 teams, including expansion teams in Detroit and Chicago.