Emerging Covid Resurgence and Restrictions Causing the Delay
HARRISBURG, PA. – Due to uncertainties about public restrictions surrounding the resurgence of the pandemic, the Arena Soccer League is announcing that they are postponing the start of their inaugural season to May of 2023. ASL Commissioner Reilly Johnson noted, “We’ll be playing at arenas near large cities where pandemic restrictions such as business lockdowns and arena capacity limitations may be reinstated. Unfortunately, pro sports organizations witnessed in 2020 how those types of policies greatly limited game attendances, sponsorship opportunities, personnel decisions and other things that would also restrict our overall success. To avoid that scenario, we’ve decided that it’s in the best interest of the league and the safety of the fans to simply delay for another year. We want to start off strong and not with uncertainty”.
The Arena Soccer League was originally slated to begin play in April of next year. Over the past several months, the new league has been in the process of finding home arenas, acquiring national sponsors, and creating its teams. According to Deputy Commissioner Neal Johnson, they will be continuing on that path until Covid craziness settles down. “We want to be clear that the only thing changing here is our timeline. This is absolutely not a termination or a suspension of operations. Instead of being impatient and taking a serious risk that our first season could be marred in Covid restrictions, the ASL is deciding to play it safe and continue following our plan to create a professional nationwide league that focuses on the total fan experience. And we will use the extra time to build an even stronger foundation for the league.”
The ASL is planning to begin league play with ten teams in the largest available markets. Other aspects of the league include holding an annual player draft, using a balanced 36-game schedule, and having an All-Star Game & Awards Banquet as the final events of the season. The mission statement of the Arena Soccer League is “to provide a professional, fast-paced and exciting entertainment experience for the community; establish a professional and successful atmosphere for our teams; create family-sustaining jobs in the field of sports entertainment; and elevate the sport of arena soccer to national prominence”. The leadership of the ASL is a group of passionate, big-thinking, and business-minded arena soccer fans seeking to elevate the status of the pro game in North America to the highest possible level.
For those not familiar with the game, arena soccer is played on artificial turf inside a rink wall that’s constructed of dasher boards and plexiglass barriers (think ice hockey). The boards & glass are considered “in play” and the ball may be played off the wall, which keeps the game moving fast. The shape of the field is a rounded rectangle, with typical dimensions being 85 feet wide by 200 feet long. The goals are 8 feet high by 14 feet wide and placed at opposite ends of the field.
For more information about the Arena Soccer League, please contact Neal Johnson at Neal@Arena-Soccer.com.