November 13, 2017

Arena football league to make Worcester announcement Wednesday

Grant Welker
The DCU Center is lined up to get another tenant next spring.

All signs point to an arena football league team joining the minor-league hockey Worcester Railers in the DCU Center in Worcester next spring.

The league, the National Arena League, is scheduled to make an announcement with DCU Center and city officials at 3 p.m. Wednesday at the DCU Center. Officials from the DCU Center and the league were tight-lipped about the details, but the media websites Inside the Arena and This Week in Worcester reported in October a team called the Massachusetts Pirates will begin play in April in Worcester.

The National Arena League now has five teams: Columbus Lions in Georgia; L.V. Steelhawks in Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania; Monterrey Steel in Mexico; Jacksonville Sharks in Florida; and New Jersey Flight in Trenton.

The Worcester Railers began play last month as the first professional hockey team in the city after a two-year hiatus.

Other National Arena League teams appear to have folded since last season, including the Corpus Christi Rage in Texas, the Dayton Wolfpack in Ohio, and the High Country Grizzlies in North Carolina.

The 2017 season ran from March to June, with each team playing a dozen or fewer regular-season games.

The National Arena League is separate from the Arena Football League, which has teams in Baltimore, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Tampa Bay and Washington.

Both leagues play on 50-yard fields, half the size of an outdoor football field, with slightly different rules.


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