AFL announces 2015 schedule
Friday December 19, 2014
Rattlers, Gladiators set for ArenaBowl rematch in Week 3
CHICAGO – The 28th Arena Football League season is set to kick off on Friday, March 27, as the 2015 AFL schedule was officially released today.
The League will feature 12 teams in 2015, with each team playing 18 games and receiving two byes during the 20-week regular season. Week 15 will be a universal bye week in observation of Independence Day weekend.
Following the 2015 regular season, the 2015 AFL Playoffs are set to begin on August 14, 2015, with the Conference Championships slated for the weekend of August 21. ArenaBowl XXVIII will take place on August 29 and will be televised live on ESPN.
All 12 AFL teams will be in action on opening weekend. Week 1 will officially kickoff at 7:30 p.m. ET on Friday with the Tampa Bay Storm welcoming in the defending American Conference champion Cleveland Gladiators at the newly renamed Amalie Arena in Tampa. The Portland Thunder and LA KISS will also rekindle their rivalry later that night at 10:00 p.m. ET from the Moda Center in Portland. The New Orleans VooDoo are set to take on the Jacksonville Sharks in “The Graveyard” at 8:00 p.m. ET the following night, while reigning AFL MVP Nick Davila and the Arizona Rattlers – winners of three straight ArenaBowl championships – will host the Spokane Shock at 9:00 p.m. ET. The Orlando Predators are poised to make their return to the Amway Center on Sunday, March 29 to host the Philadelphia Soul at 2:00 p.m. ET and Week 1 will culminate at 10:30 p.m. ET on Monday, March 30 when the Las Vegas Outlaws make their AFL debut at home against the San Jose SaberCats.
Perhaps the most notable matchup of the year is slated for Week 3, when the Cleveland Gladiators will host the Arizona Rattlers in a rematch of ArenaBowl XXVII. The Rattlers defeated the Gladiators, 72-32, in August to claim their third consecutive AFL championship.
Other notable games:
· The “War on I-4” will see another three-game series in 2015. The Orlando Predators will host the Tampa Bay Storm in Week 8 and Week 20, while the Preds will head to Tampa in Week 16.
· The Cleveland Gladiators and Philadelphia Soul will square off three more times in 2015. Philadelphia will host the Gladiators in Week 4 and Week 16, while the Soul will travel to Quicken Loans Arena to close out the regular season in Week 20. The two squads combined for three of the most dramatic finishes in AFL history in 2014, as the Gladiators came away with wins on the final play of the game in all three contests.
· The “Rockstar Rivalry” will see its first game in Week 3, as the LA KISS host the Las Vegas Outlaws in the first home game of the year for LA. The KISS are owned by Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley of KISS fame, while Motley Crue lead singer Vince Neil is co-owner of the Outlaws.
· The Arizona Rattlers and San Jose SaberCats will rekindle their storied rivalry twice in the 2015 regular season. Arizona will host San Jose in Week 6, while the Rattlers will travel to California in Week 19.
The national television broadcast schedule will be released at a later date.
About the AFLSince its inception in 1987, the Arena Football League has showcased a fast-paced and exciting game to millions of fans in a myriad of markets across the country. The ESPN family of networks and CBS Sports Network will nationally broadcast AFL games each week for the entire 2015 season. The AFL schedule culminates with ArenaBowl XXVIII Saturday, August 29, 2015 on ESPN.