SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – A new professional football league called the A11FL has been launched, with the first season expected to begin next year. Teams would be in some of the biggest football and media markets in the country, including the Bay Area.
The spring professional football league is meant to complement the NFL and already has a national broadcasting agreement in place.
Franchise sites include the Bay Area, with a team called the Sea Lions, Los Angeles, New Jersey, Dallas, Chicago, and Tampa Bay. Two additional cities will be announced soon.
“This country thirsts for more football,” said A11FL CEO and Commissioner Scott McKibben.
Two showcase games, one in Tampa Bay and the other in Dallas, will take place this spring, with the inaugural season scheduled to begin in late March of 2015. Both the showcase games and first season will be broadcast on ESPN.
“This is a league that is going to be played in some of the biggest media markets,” McKibben said. “No offense to those who have come before us, but Chicago is different from Omaha.”
The league will have a different style of football, with one rule change – no jersey requirements for the offense. This was an offense developed in 2007 by Kurt Bryan and Steve Humphries at Piedmont High School in the East Bay. It means that each offensive player is eligible to receive the ball, depending how they line up on the line of scrimmage.
A11FL President and COO Mike Keller said they have been scouting talent for the last four years. “What we will be doing is signing about 150 of the best players who are currently not under contract,” he said.
The 2015 season will begin in late March and continue through the July 4th weekend, ending three weeks prior to NFL pre-season. Players will be allowed to matriculate to the NFL and tickets are expected to run around $30.