ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — As the summer winds down, the clock is ticking on bringing arena football back to Albany. There remains one hang-up in that process: the price of workers compensation insurance.
NEWS10 ABC reached out to Mike Kwarta, who is a part of the ownership group trying to bring arena football back to Albany. Kwarta previously owned the Albany Empire, before selling the team to Antonio Brown.
Kwarta tells NEWS10 ABC Sports Director Griffin Haas that his ownership group, alongside assemblyman John McDonald, has had conversations with the New York State Insurance Fund to try and lower the price tag on the workers comp payment for the potential arena football team. Kwarta says the price is still just south of $1 million, which would be five times the team’s expected payroll. Kwarta adds he has talked to other arena football owners in other states who said they pay eight to ten times less than that number in workers comp.
NEWS10 ABC reached out to the New York State Insurance Fund, but we have not yet received a comment.
Kwarta tells NEWS10 ABC his group is still speaking with both the Arena Football League and the Indoor Football League, but the clock is ticking. He believes there needs to be a resolution in the next one to two weeks.
If the workers comp payment is not lowered, Kwarta says they will not be able to field an arena football team in 2024. MVP Arena General Manager Bob Belber previously told NEWS10 that if the workers comp payment price was not lowered, fielding a team in Albany would be highly unlikely in 2024.