Maine Mammoths make it respectable: Arena football coming to Portland

Less than every week after the Maine Mariners revealed the logo and shades they’ll put on to play ECHL hockey in 2018, the people who run Cross Insurance Arena added some other minor-league sports team.

This one will play football inside the identical constructing.

The Maine Mammoths are coming to downtown Portland, a National Arena League enlargement franchise with the intention to play here subsequent spring and summer season.

“As we’re gearing down, these men behind me, they’re gearing up,” said Matt Herpich, trendy manager of the arena, at a Tuesday information conference introducing officials from the league in addition to the head educate and quarterback of the Mammoths. “Their season agenda is outside our regular reserving window … so we pass from a venue that commonly operates nine months out of the year to – if those guys can make the playoffs – operating one year out of the yr.”

Although a agenda for the seven-crew (or probable eight-crew) league has but to be released, the season is likely to begin in April and ultimate 15 weeks. Four teams keep with playoffs, tentatively scheduled for Aug. Eleven and 25.

“Opening kickoff for Portland should be around April 14,” said Chris Siegfried, commissioner of the NAL, which is entering its 2d season with most effective 3 of the original franchises, possibly a fourth if the Monterrey (Mexico) Steel can conquer earthquake harm and field a team once more in 2018. “We’re finalizing the agenda proper now.”

Monterrey turned into one of the four playoff teams within the NAL’s inaugural season. The others – league champion Jacksonville (Florida) Sharks, runners-up Columbus (Georgia) Lions and Lehigh Valley (Pennsylvania) Steelhawks – are joined by means of expansion franchises in Trenton (Jersey Flight), Worcester (Massachusetts Pirates), Greensboro (Carolina Cobras) and Portland.

The league agreed to a three-12 months rent at Cross Insurance Arena, with a two-yr extension if each events are happy. Herpich stated he plans to officially sign the rent Wednesday.

Mitch Berkowitz, chair of the board of trustees for the arena, said the deal might not had been feasible without a $34 million maintenance in 2013-14 that included increased locker room facilities, club areas and suites.

“The constructing investments are paying dividends,” Berkowitz said. “Without the paintings, we'd not were capable of host another tenant.”

Jeff Bouchy, chair of the NAL’s enlargement committee, stated the Portland and Carolina franchises are owned by National Sports Ventures, a Georgia-primarily based agency owned by means of himself, Rob Storm, Steve Curran and Richard Maslia. The first three guys are part of the Florida Sharks possession organization and hail from Jacksonville. Maslia lives in Atlanta but went to school at Curry College, simply outside of Boston.

“We’ll come, start the group and we’ll operate it,” Bouchy stated. “If anyone needs to buy it, awesome. It’s already jogging. We’ll drop the keys off. It’s ideal. If they don’t want to shop for it, we’ll preserve it. Either way, we’re completely satisfied.”Maine Mammoths make it reliable: Arena soccer coming to Portland
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