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Championship Weekend Scheduled for July 8th

ATLANTA, GEORGIA – In a historic announcement made today, the National Arena League released its inaugural league schedule. The eight member teams spanning from Pennsylvania to Monterrey, Mexico will each play a twelve-game season that begins the weekend of March 17th and culminates in the first ever league championship scheduled for July 8th.

The schedule kicks off with an epic matchup between two storied franchises as the three time league champion (AIFL, PIFL, AIF) Columbus Lions host the perennial powerhouse Jacksonville Sharks (AFL League Champions-2011) on Friday, March 17th at 7pm EST. Opening weekend also highlights the league’s first International contest as the Monterrey Steel will host the Corpus Christi Rage for a Monday night (3/20) tilt inside the Arena Monterrey in Mexico.

Other highlighted contests on the season include a Week Two matchup as the Lehigh Valley Steelhawks, heading into their seventh season of play, head down to Boone, North Carolina to take on the High Country Grizzlies in their first ever home contest inside the George M. Holmes Convocation Center on the campus of Appalachian State University. The only league In-State battle occurs week three when the Georgia Firebirds (formerly of the AIF) head to Columbus in hopes of redemption of 2016 losses at the hands of the Lions. And the expansion Dayton Wolfpack will salute the troops with a Monday, May 29th Memorial Day home contest against the Steelhawks.

The league top four teams based on record will qualify for a National Arena League playoff berth. The top seeded team will host the number four ranked team, while the team with the second-best record will host the number three seed in Round One. The first ever NAL Championship game will be hosted by the highest seeded team remaining after the first round. An extension of the playoff structure was voted on at the first ever NAL league meetings last month in Atlanta, Georgia. A playoff travel fund will be set up by league owners for the traveling teams in the playoffs to ease the burden of travel for the post-season.

“The plans are set, and we are ready to kickoff our inaugural season,” stated NAL Director of Football Operations Chris Siegfried. “In creating the schedule we took into account travel, rivalries that have existed in the past, and matchups we think can highlight the high level of play we will have in 2017. March can’t come soon enough!”

NAL Training camps are set to begin the last week of February. Teams are allowed a 40 man camp roster, but must trim to a final 24 man roster by Week One. Fans can learn more about each team in the NAL, follow league news, and stay tuned for all player transactions by visiting its website at www.NationalArenaLeague.com

The National Arena League is set for initial kick off in March of 2017. With a playing style resembling traditional arena rules, the NAL will be announcing additional member league teams in the coming weeks. For more information regarding expansion opportunities or partnerships, contact Commissioner John Gregory at 501-529-8484 or john@nationalarenaleague.com or visit www.NationalArenaLeague.com.

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