National Arena League shortens season to 8 games

Sports

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The highly anticipated return of the Albany Empire has been pushed back seven weeks. The National Arena League released a condensed eight-game schedule Tuesday afternoon, citing the suggestions of arena managers to delay the start of the season in order to safely accommodate the fans.

In 2019, the Times Union Center averaged 10,181 fans for home Empire games, but co-owner Ron Tridico is prepared for a much smaller crowd in 2021. Tridico said the Times Union Center is proposing a pilot program that would allow a capacity crowd of 3,600.

“If we can put 3,600 fans, financially no it doesn’t make sense, but we’re going to go ahead and do it to give the fans,” Tridico said. “We want to give the fans some football. So we’ll make it happen if we can put 3,600 fans in the stands.”

The season opener is now set for May 22 at home against Ontario. The eight-game schedule will be played out over 10 weeks, with playoff and championships weeks to follow.

2021 National Arena League Schedule

  • Week 1
    • Saturday, May 22: Ontario @ Albany
    • Saturday, May 22: Carolina @ Jersey
    • BYE: Jacksonville, Columbus, Orlando
  • Week 2
    • Saturday, May 29: Jacksonville @ Orlando
    • Saturday, May 29: Columbus @ Jersey
    • Saturday, May 29: Carolina @ Albany
    • BYE: Ontario
  • WEEK 3
    • Friday, June 4: Albany @ Columbus
    • Friday, June 4: Jacksonville @ Ontario
    • Saturday, June 5: Carolina @ Orlando
    • BYE: Jersey
  • WEEK 4
    • Saturday, June 12: Ontario @ Columbus
    • Saturday, June 12: Jersey @ Jacksonville
    • Saturday, June 12: Orlando @ Albany
    • BYE: Carolina
  • WEEK 5
    • Saturday, June 19: Jersey @ Carolina
    • Saturday, June 19: Ontario @ Orlando
    • Saturday, June 19: Jacksonville @ Columbus
    • BYE: Albany
  • WEEK 6
    • Saturday, June 26: Orlando @ Jacksonville
    • Saturday, June 26: Columbus @ Carolina
    • Saturday, June 26: Albany @ Jersey
    • BYE: Ontario
  • WEEK 7
    • Friday, July 2: Columbus @ Orlando
    • Sunday, July 4: Jersey @ Ontario
    • BYE: Albany, Carolina, Jacksonville
  • WEEK 8
    • Saturday, July 10: Jacksonville @ Carolina
    • Saturday, July 10: Orlando @ Jersey
    • Monday, July 12: Albany @ Ontario
    • BYE: Columbus
  • WEEK 9
    • Saturday, July 17: Ontario @ Carolina
    • Saturday, July 17: Jersey @ Albany
    • Saturday, July 17: Columbus @ Jacksonville
    • BYE: Orlando
  • WEEK 10
    • Saturday, July 24: Albany @ Jacksonville
    • Saturday, July 24: Orlando @ Columbus
    • Saturday, July 24: Carolina @ Ontario
    • BYE: Jersey
  • NAL PLAYOFFS: Saturday, July 31
  • NAL CHAMPIONSHIP: Saturday, August 14

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