Four-team developmental league to launch without NFL affiliation
The FXFL developmental football league will have a team in Brooklyn and will play a six-game season in four cities this year.
The Brooklyn Bolts will play at MCU Park, the home of the minor league baseball Cyclones, a Class A farm team of the Mets. They'll join franchises in Boston, Omaha (TD Ameritrade Park) and Miami (Florida International Stadium).
Each team will play the other twice.
"In our minds, we needed a presence in the New York metropolitan area," said Brian Woods, commissioner of the Fall Experimental Football League, said of placing a team in Coney Island.
"We did our due diligence with regards to venues that will accommodate us and partner with us. Having the Cyclones and (owner) Jeff Wilpon and a unique place to play, and their marketing team to help us ... it makes great sense."
Wilpon also is the chief operating officer of the Mets, and the Bolts expect to have some cross-promotions with both the major league and minor league baseball clubs.
The FXFL currently has no affiliation with the NFL, but hopes to advance the talents of players, coaches, officials and front office executives. It's something NFL football operations chief Troy Vincent said in April his league is looking into for the future.
Players cut by NFL teams in the next two weeks, plus those who have not gotten a look out of college, will make up FXFL rosters.
It will begin play Oct. 8 and has several regional TV networks lined up for its games on midweek nights.
Woods, an attorney who played at Mississippi and coached as a graduate assistant at Iowa State, also considered Austin, Texas, and Portland, Oregon for franchises. Columbus, Ohio, and Springfield, Missouri, also expressed interest in having a franchise.
"Cost containment is our No. 1 priority," Woods said. "That's why the number of teams in our first year is four. The priority is to field four teams that will enable us to provide fans with more of an exceptional on-field football product."