Birmingham to become charter member of new pro football league

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – You might not know it, but Birmingham has had its fair share of pro football teams. Many residents will remember the Birmingham Thunderbolts of the short-lived XFL or the Steeldogs of the now defunct AF2. Some might also remember the Birmingham Stallions in the mid-80s of the USFL or even the Vulcans in the late 70s of the WFL.

Beginning in the spring of 2015, though, Birmingham gets another chance for a pro sports team to thrive as it becomes one of the eight charter cities for the new North American Football League (NAFL). The NAFL plans to be a “fan-centric” spring football league. With an expansion plan already in place, the league hopes to field 16 teams across the country by 2019. The NAFL also plans to be a publicly traded company, which, if successful, could make it the first pro football league to do so.

The Birmingham Freedom, as the team is to be called, will compete against the other seven charter franchises: Columbus Flight, Hartford Merchantmen, Kentucky Thoroughbreds, Memphis Kings, North Carolina Redwolves, Orlando Sentinels, and Virginia Crusaders.

According to the league, the Freedom nickname was given to Birmingham for it’s role in the Civil Rights Movement. The stadium where the Freedom is to play, though, has yet to be determined.

Copyright 2014 WIAT 42 News

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