Arena Football League to Return to Pittsburgh in 2011

It appears that the Arena Football League will place an expansion team in the Pittsburgh market for the 2011 season. According to published reports by the Pittsburgh Tribune Review the team will soon announce its ownership group which includes former Pittsburgh Steeler Hall of Fame receiver Lynn Swann. The team would play its games at the new state of the art Consol Energy Center and would be one of four planned expansion teams for the AFL. The league has announced the Kansas City Brigade, Philadelphia Soul, and San Jose Sabercats will return to play in 2011. The AFL in its first year back from a one-year hiatus, will hold Arena Bowl XXIII featuring the Spokane Shock and the Tampa Bay Storm live Friday night at 8:00pm on the NFL Network. The restructuring of the league, and the elimination of the players union has allowed the AFL to keep operating costs down for their ownership groups. The 2010 AFL player salaries were reported to be $400.00 per game with 3 “marketing players” receiving a salary of $1,000.00 per game, and the coaching staff budgets were set at $100,000.00 for the entire staff in 2010. This was accomplished while maintaining a high quality, competitive product on the field, and continuing the fan interaction that the AFL had developed over the past 23 seasons. I look forward to seeing the Arena Football League return to Pittsburgh for 2011, and it places us in the unique position in Erie of having two AFL franchises (Pittsburgh, Cleveland) within 2 1/2 hours driving distance.