Albany Firebirds Returning to Arena Football League (AFL)

Albany Firebirds Returning to Arena Football League (AFL)

Last year was quite the ride for arena football fans in Albany, NY. If you were unaware, Antonio Brown took over the NAL Empire franchise and things went exactly as you’d expect. Things got so bad that the National Arena League cutoff ties with Brown and the Empire before the season had even completed.

Since then there’s been a lot of talk about bringing another arena team to the Albany area. Beyond the ownership, Albany was one of the stronger arena markets.

2023 turned out to be a big year in arena football, but not for the reasons many expected. Earlier this year it was revealed that the Arena Football League would be making a return in 2024. They come to the table with the promise of a 16-team league and they’re currently in the middle of announcing where they’ll be playing.

Today the AFL crosses another location off the list, officially announcing the return of the Albany Firebirds.

Former Albany Empire offensive coordinator and interim head coach, Damon Ware will be the head coach and general manager of the franchise. Jeff Levack will serve as team president.

Ware announced the team’s first signing is former Empire wide receiver, and 2021 National Arena League MVP, Darius Prince.

Albany’s last arena football team was terminated from the National Arena League, citing the Empire’s failure to pay overdue league-mandated assessments. The termination came months after former NFL pro-bowler Antonio Brown became part of the previous ownership group. Kwarta sold the Empire to Brown, and Ware was later fired by Brown.

It’s definitely an interesting twist on the outcome of last years Empire sale.

You can watch the full AFL Press Conference below:

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