Rattlers to move to Glendale next season
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The two-time defending ArenaBowl champion Arizona Rattlers are poised to move to newly minted Gila River Arena in Glendale next season, two sources familiar with the situation confirmed to FOX Sports Arizona.
The move is expected to be announced after the Rattlers compete in the their fourth straight ArenaBowl on Aug. 23 against the Cleveland Gladiators.
A Glendale official declined comment on the news, but Coyotes co-owner Anthony LeBlanc had this to say.
"There is no question we have had exploratory discussions with the Rattlers. We think it is a great team in a great league that would fit in very well at the soon to be named Gila River Arena," he said. "However, there is a lot of work to be done before this could be a reality. Most importantly we need to have in-depth discussions with the city."
The move would mean at least nine additional dates filled at the arena that is slated to change its name from Jobing.com Arena on Sept. 10, pending approval by the Glendale City Council of a new naming rights deal announced Wednesday. The council is scheduled to vote on the naming rights deal Sept. 9, with approval expected.
The Rattlers are one of the Arena Football League's most successful franchises, having won four ArenaBowl titles and appeared in eight championship games. Tampa Bay holds the record in both those categories with five ArenaBowl titles and nine title game appearances, the latter of which the Rattlers will tie this season.
The Rattlers, who have played at downtown Phoenix's US Airways Center (formerly America West Arena) since 1992, are believed to have averaged about 9,700 fans per regular-season game this season. The City of Glendale and arena manager Global Spectrum have been seeking other ways to fill open dates at the arena and increase revenue, aside from the Coyotes and the handful of concerts the arena hosted last season.