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Alliance Phoenix to bring new approach to America's game in 2019

By Jose Romero - May 18, 2018

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Football remains king of the American sports landscape, and an experienced group of investors and executives hope to take advantage of that by providing more of the game to fans. 

The American Alliance of Football is hoping to fill a void left by the absence of football from after the Super Bowl until the NFL Draft, and its establishment is giving players another avenue to continue their dreams, but with a unique approach. 

The AAF announced its Phoenix franchise on Friday at Arizona State University, where the team will play home games starting in February 2019. 

"Eighty million people in the U.S. stip watching sports the day after the Super Bowl ends," co-founder and league CEO Charlie Ebersol said. "Twenty million stop playing fantasy."

With that in mind, Ebersol and an executive group that includes former NFL general manager Bill Polian and former star players Troy Polamalu, Hines Ward, Justin Tuck and Jared Allen seek to establish another professional league that will incorporate the following:

- Eight teams with 10-week regular season and four team playoff
- Fan participation in player and team success
- Post football career scholarship and job program
- Free live streaming and integrated fantasy play
- Elimination of kickoffs and onside kicks, allowing offense to start possession on the 25-yard line
- Shorter play clock and fewer commercial breaks
- Strict head safety protocols
- In place of the onside kick in a tight game, the trailing team will receive the ball on their own 35-yard line facing fourth down and 10.
- Eliminating the extra point requiring two point conversions after every touchdown
-Games that will last two hours, 30 minutes, to keep fans' focus and attention
It's still unclear how the player pool will be developed, for now. But it appears an emphasis will be placed on local talent for respective area franchises. For Phoenix, that means some players fans will recognize from local universities Arizona State, Arizona and Northern Arizona.
ASU will play a major role as home venue for the yet-to-be-renamed Alliance Phoenix franchise. The school, in its renovation of Sun Devil Stadium, seeks to fill dates at the facility beyond seven home college football games, and there will be at least five Alliance games at home in the ideal climate for playing outdoors in central Arizona. 
Alliance Phoenix and the college will work together to create internship and training opportunities for students. 
The season will overlap with that of ASU basketball, pro soccer, MLB spring training, the close of NBA Suns and NHL Coyotes seasons and the start of baseball's regular season, but that doesn't seem to deter the league. 
Games will be carried on CBS and the CBS Sports Network.
Local native and longtime Pac-12 player, coach and media personality Rick Neuheisel was named head coach. 
"I promise you, I've got plenty of energy for this job," Neuheisel said.


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