Chamber Business News

Debut minor football league brings new football team to Arizona

The Alliance of American Football, a new minor football league debuting next February, has named the Arizona Hotshots as one of its first eight teams. The Hotshots will partner with Arizona State University to play in Sun Devil Stadium.

The organization will host a 12-week football season beginning in February 2019 and ending with a championship game in late April. The alliance has already signed more than 500 players across the eight teams, who come from a wide variety of universities across the nation. Other cities hosting teams include Atlanta, Birmingham, Memphis, Orlando, Salt Lake City, and San Diego.

The Arizona franchise created the name “Hotshots” to honor the countless Arizona firefighters that combat forest fires every year. As explained on the team website, “Hotshot firefighters are highly successful and an essential line of defense in battling the most serious wildfires across the country.” Although the team has not released their jersey design yet, fans can buy select merchandise from the team store.

Arizona Hotshots President Scott Brubaker explains that Arizona is the perfect location for spring football for many reasons. “This is one of the best sports towns in the country. We’ve got every traditional professional sport represented, as well as arena football and the U.S. Open,” Brubaker notes. “Also, the weather is hard to beat between February and April, so that’s important too.”

In fact, Brubaker notes that Arizona is one of the premier football locations in the country. “It’s hard to quantify, but it’s really just a football state. Not only the Cardinals, but ASU and UA also have a big following,” Brubaker states. “Also, I was on the original executive committee that originally started the Rattlers in 1992, and it’s grown a lot since then. Football is America’s game, and it’s certainly Arizona’s game as well.”

The Hotshots will also largely impact the state’s economy and businesses. Not only will there be opportunities for partnerships and advertising with AAF and the Hotshots, but it will also create more tax revenue for the state. Brubaker also notes that while there may not necessarily be new job creation, there will certainly be job extensions – with five more home games, concession workers, security guards, ushers, etc. will have more opportunities to work at Sun Devil Stadium.

Closing down the upper dome of the stadium, the Hotshots intend to make their football games a much more intimate experience with “family-oriented pricing,” according to Brubaker. The introduction of the AAF will provide new opportunities for families, businesses, and sports fans across the Valley.

Ben Norman

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