Back in February, a new indoor professional football league announced its intent to start in 2024, and they were doing something a bit different from other start-up football leagues: they were asking people to vote for what cities should get teams.

Three Iowa cities were eligible for teams, and now that the votes are in, one eastern Iowa city is getting a football team!

Photo Credit: KCRG-TV9, YouTube
Photo Credit: KCRG-TV9, YouTube

On May 4th, 2023, The Arena League announced that indoor football would be coming to the Cedar Valley. NFL Hall of Famer and Arena League Commissioner Tim Brown announced that Waterloo would be one of the four brand new teams in the brand new Arena League.

Coming in 2024, The Arena League will be yet another football league looking to make a name for itself alongside the USFL, XFL, and the AFL, just to name a few. Full Disclosure: the Arena League is NOT the same as the Arena Football League. The Arena Football League began in 1986, folded in 2019, and is shaping up for a comeback in 2024. The Arena League is a brand new football league that is looking to begin play in 2024.

Brown told the people of Waterloo in a press conference that The Arena League is coming to the eastern Iowa city because "people wanted it:"

They were chosen because of the fan support we got when we sent out the information [....] overwhelmingly the city said yes we want a team here sothat is why we were in Springfield. That is why we were in Duluth and we have one more city we will announce in the next couple of weeks, and that is why we are excited because the city and fans are excited. - per KWWL

The four-team league will offer a number of changes/innovations to the game of football, according to its website. Such features are:

  • A 50-yard, indoor field
  • 15-man rosters with players who play both offense and defense
  • Faster-aced games with a "quick" play clock and no huddles
  • Younger athletes
  • Fan input
Photo Credit: KCRG-TV9, YouTube
Photo Credit: KCRG-TV9, YouTube

Dubuque was one of the cities on the list of potential destinations for an Arena League team. People could vote from a list of towns in which they'd like to see a football team, including: Rockford, IL; Kansas City, MO; Springfield, MO; Rochester, MN; Little Rock, AR; Oklahoma City, OK; Duluth, MN; Waterloo, IA; and Wichita Falls, TX.

As of now, the league has announced one team in Springfield (MO), Duluth, and Waterloo, with the fourth and final team to be announced in June.

While I can't lie I'm disappointed that Dubuque was ultimately not selected as a host city for a new indoor football team, I do plan to travel to Waterloo to see a game come next year!

Stay up to date on The Arena League via their website, or follow them on Twitter.


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