The resort’s new Arena Football League team will play its inaugural home game in Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall on May 4.

The yet-to be-named Atlantic City AFL franchise will open the 2019 season with an away game April 27 against the Philadelphia Soul. The team’s first home game will be against Columbus, the league’s other unnamed expansion team for this upcoming season.

“AFL football is the most exciting, high-scoring, innovative brand of football, and we’re looking forward to bringing it to even more fans this season,” said Randall Boe, league commissioner. “The rule changes will make the AFL game more thrilling and engaging as they speed play up, making the game last closer to two hours—which we think is the optimal amount of time.”

The top four teams make the AFL plyoffs, which begin on July 27.

The Casino Reinvestment Development Authority unanimously approved three-year agreement with the AFL in January. CRDA will make available $500,000 in capital expenditures to buy equipment to convert Boardwalk Hall with improvements that include sidewall padding, nets and goal posts.

“It’s a pretty exciting game,” CRDA Board Chairman Robert Mulcahy said when the deal was approved last month.

“It’s an additional offering to diversify opportunities to come to Atlantic City and Boardwalk Hall.”

The Arena Football League was launched in 1987 and has seen 64 different franchises compete. The Philadelphia Soul, founded in 2004, is the longest existing current franchise in the league.

2019 Schedule

April

27; at Philadelphia Soul; TBD

May

4; Columbus; TBD

11; at Washington Valor; TBD

18; Baltimore Brigade; TBD

25; Albany Empire; TBD

June

1; Baltimore; TBD

7; at Columbus; TBD

16; at Philadelphia; TBD

22; at Albany; TBD

29; at Washington; TBD

July

6; Philadelphia; TBD

13-14; Off week

21; Baltimore; TBDNew rule changes

The league also announced four new rule changes for the 2019 season.

They are:

• The first-half’s one-minute timing rules will be eliminated. There will be no automatic clock stoppage at the one-minute mark in the second quarter, and the game clock will follow regular guidelines. Additionally, in the fourth quarter, the traditional AFL clock stoppage rules will not take effect until the 30-second mark.

• The number and duration of media timeouts will be reduced.

• Each team will have three timeouts per half. Two of the three timeouts will be clock-stoppage timeouts only: The game clock will stop and the play clock will reset immediately. The third team timeout in each half will remain a traditional timeout.

• A 60-second play clock will be implemented following the extra-point attempt, and/or two-point conversion attempt, with the exception of media timeouts.

Contact: 609-272-7222 ddanzis@pressofac.com Twitter @ACPressDanzis

Staff Writer

I cover Atlantic City government and the casino industry since joining The Press in early 2018. I formerly worked as a politics & government reporter for NJ Herald and received the First Amendment: Art Weissman Memorial NJPA Award two years in a row.

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