Atlantic City to Get Arena Football Franchise

Atlantic City will see an Arena Football League Franchise call the resort home in the spring, according to reports. An official announcement of the move is scheduled for later this month, but the league’s chairman, Ron Jaworski, confirmed the move. The franchise would play its games at Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall (l.).

Atlantic City will try again to host a professional sports team as the Arena Football League will launch a franchise to play its games in the resort’s Boardwalk Hall.

The city has had several unsuccessful runs with minor league sports teams, but this represents the first time a major franchise in a professional league has located in the resort. It also comes after the city began sports betting last year.

“To put it in football parlance, we’ve driven 99 yards and we’re first-and-goal from the 1-yard line,” Ron Jaworski, chairman of the AFL’s executive committee told the Press of Atlantic City. “It’s going to happen, and I’m absolutely thrilled. The people of Atlantic City and South Jersey deserve it. I can’t say enough about the overwhelming support we’ve received from the City, the New Jersey Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, the casino industry and the people. Everyone’s been behind this 100 percent.”

Jaworski is a former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback who owns Blue Heron Pines Golf Club in nearby Galloway Township. He is also a majority owner of the Arena League’s Philadelphia Soul.

Jaworski has said the introduction of sports betting to the resort is one of the reasons Atlantic City was selected for an expansion franchise. DraftKings, which has a partnership with the Arena League, also operates one at Resorts Casino Hotel.

Atlantic City will be the fifth active franchise in the Arena League, joining the Soul, Brigade, Valor and Albany (New York) Firebirds. Two other franchises, the Cleveland Gladiators and Tampa Bay Storm, are on hiatus while their arenas undergo renovations.

An official announcement outlining the launch is scheduled for January 22. Local fans are expected to participate in picking a name for the franchise.