Alliance of American Football To Kick Off After Super Bowl in 2019 (VIDEO)
Every single year, football fans across the country go into football withdrawal after the Super Bowl, as they realize there won’t be any games played for months.
Starting in 2019, that will no longer be the case because another league plans to get things rolling and mimic what the XFL is trying to do.
A spring professional league, the Alliance of American Football, will kick off its inaugural regular season Feb. 9, 2019, and will include a modest broadcast deal with CBS, league executives announced Tuesday.
“This [spring football] is a massive gap in the market,” founder Charlie Ebersol said in a news conference. “This is a marketplace of tens of millions of Americans who have been telling us for decades that they want to see high-quality football longer than the football season.”
The AAF will feature eight teams, a 10-game regular season schedule and rule changes that are designed to speed up the pace of the game. The Alliance plans to get rid of the extra point, forcing scoring teams to attempt a two-point conversion from the 2-yard line instead.
Other rule changes include no more kickoffs, as offenses will take the ball from their own 25-yard line. And instead of onside kicks, the scoring team will have the option to take one play from their own 35-yard line and convert a 4th-and-10 play to keep the ball.
The Alliance will only have a 30-second play clock and replays will be limited to two coach’s challenges for each team. There will also be no television timeouts.
“The game will only stop when it naturally stops,” said Ebersol, whose father, Dick, is a former NBC executive and XFL partner.
The goal is to complete a game in less than 2 1/2 hours, and games will have 60 percent fewer commercials, Ebersol said.
Team names and locations have yet to be announced. Players on 50-man rosters will mostly be those cut by NFL teams and those from other professional football leagues, like the Canadian or arena leagues. The league’s debut and championship game will both appear on CBS, according to a CBS Sports report, and CBS Sports Network will also air one regular season game per week.
The AAF will grant player bonuses based on performance and fan interaction, something in which league officials said they had invested heavily. It will also have its own app where games can be streamed free of charge and where fans can participate in play-by-play fantasy-football-style gaming.
The league also vowed cheap ticket prices — each team will offer seats “between the 20s [yard lines], close to the field” for $35, Ebersol said — and value-priced concessions.
The league, rather than individual franchises, will own each team and the rights of each player. For each season a player spends in the AAF, he will be awarded a year’s scholarship for a post-secondary education, said Justin Tuck, a former NFL defensive end and AAF executive.
Retired NFL all-pros Troy Polamalu and Jared Allen are also among the Alliance’s leadership.”