NEW: Legendary Capital Region, NY Indoor Football Brand to Be Revived
A legend of the Capital Region sports scene is reportedly set to return to action in the near future, according to reports from WNYT NewsChannel 13 earlier today.
What's the Latest on the Return of the Albany Firebirds?
Big Board Sports' Rodger Wyland reported the following news on Twitter earlier on Thursday:
This will be the third time that the Firebirds moniker will be used for an indoor football team in the Capital Region. The first, and most well-known, use of the name happened from 1990 to 2000, when the Firebirds played as part of the Arena Football League. The team announced its relocation to Indianapolis, IN on October 19, 2000.
Arena football returned to the Capital Region in 2002, when an expansion franchise in AF2 was granted to Albany. After playing as the Albany Conquest from 2002 through 2008, the franchise played one final year, in 2009, as the Firebirds.
The announcement of the Firebirds' revival comes just a few months after the tumultuous tenure of the Albany Empire. The original Empire franchise played two seasons in the Arena Football League, winning an Arena Bowl in 2019 before the league disbanded.
The second iteration of the Empire, which was not affiliated with the original team mentioned above, found success in the National Arena League, winning back-to-back championships in 2021 and 2022.
2023 was a much different story, as the team was purchased by former NFL wide receiver, Antonio Brown, and after multiple off-field incidents between Brown, the players and the league, the team was expelled from the NAL on June 15, 2023. Former Empire owner, Mike Kwarta, will be involved in the Firebirds' revival.
Here is the latest from The Times Union's Mark Singelais:
More to come.