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Duluth lands arena football league team

Duluth has been awarded the second of four planned The Arena League professional indoor football league franchises, league officials and local community leaders announced today.

The yet-unnamed team has signed a three-year lease to play five home games — in a 10-game schedule — at Duluth Arena each summer, starting in June 2024.

Teams will play six-on-six football and each team’s 15-player roster might include former National Football League players using the league to work their way back into professional football, as well as younger players fresh out of college. Players will play both on offense and defense.

The league hosted a fan vote from 10 cities across the Midwest to help select the final four teams for the inaugural season. Springfield, Missouri, also has been awarded a franchise.

“In addition to Springfield, the community of Duluth ranked amongst the top vote-getters in our poll,” said league commissioner Tim Brown, a Pro Football Hall-of-Famer and Heisman Trophy winner, who spoke at today’s presser along with league representatives and Duluth Mayor Emily Larson, among others. “This show of passion to bring football to Duluth, along with the positive reception that we received from Dan Hartman and his staff at the arena and other leaders in the local business community made the city a clear choice.

“We are very proud to announce Duluth, Minnesota as one of The Arena League’s inaugural four teams.”

Football at the DECC will be a remarkable experience from sight lines and close proximity to the action all the way through the post-game autograph sessions, Hartman said.

"We are very proud to be hosting The Arena League,” Hartman added.

The team also announced a Name-the-Team Contest, said Tony Bronson, director of business development at Grandma’s Restaurant Company and The Garden Event Center.

“The Arena League was clear that this is the communities’ team and they want input from us, the people of Duluth on what it should be called, what the logo should represent, and how it should be positioned within our community,” said Bronson. “It is very exciting to be associated with this new element that will be so good for our town.”

Single-game tickets will start at $15 for adults and $10 for youth 12-and-under.