Friday, June 2, 2017

Spotlight: The American Flag Football League

On June 27, the AFFL will host its inaugural game at 6:30 p.m. at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, Calif. – home to the San Jose Earthquakes of Major League Soccer. While San Jose isn’t a traditional football market, it’s within a stone’s throw of Santa Clara, the home of the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers.

Avaya Stadium holds right over 18,000 spectators, which might just be the perfect size for the league’s first event. Lewis believes MLS stadiums such as this one could help the league evolve and expand.

“One of the things about going to sporting events is, whether you watch them on TV or attend them in person, it just feels better when a game is well attended. So, if we played at the big house at [University of Michigan] and we had 50,000 people there, it would look like no one showed up. We are very interested in all of these Major League Soccer stadiums because, basically, all over the country now you have these 15,000 to 20,000 seat outdoor facilities that are 10 years old. If we put 10,000 people in [Avaya Stadium] and we seat them properly, it will feel full, it will feel like it’s important – it’ll feel fun.”

At the end of the day, fun is the emphasis of the AFFL and Lewis doesn’t want that getting lost in the numbers – but only time will tell if it can outlast the XFL and the United States Football League.

“We are football fans, we want it to feel like football,” Lewis declared. “We don’t want people to say I’m watching flag football, we want them to say football.”