The city of Duluth is now the new professional football home of the Duluth Arena League

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The city of Duluth will soon be the home to a new professional football team in 2024.

“When we develop the league, we wanted to find communities, and we picked sort of the Midwest and upper Midwest to find smaller communities that maybe haven’t had something like this or haven’t had it in a long time that might embrace it. The passion for football here, you know, as a hockey guy, I appreciate the fact that hockey is just so wonderful here. But people love football, too, right? And there’s room for it,” said Arena League Advisor Tommy Benizo.

The announcement was made on Wednesday at a press conference at the Garden Event Center in Duluth and attendees like Duluth Mayor Emily Larson expressed how exciting this is to touchdown in our own backyard.

“This is a really, really big deal. So of a nationwide search of communities that could be a good host city for Arena League, Duluth bubbled to the top for all of the wonderful assets that we have now, just a great facility at the DECC, but also just the community spirit, how we rally around community and sports and teams, the business community that wants to partner and be a part of it. It’s a tremendous opportunity for Duluth.”

The city has been awarded the second of four teams for the arena league with a team in Springfield, Missouri, and two other teams that have yet to be determined.

Former Oakland Raider, NFL Hall of Famer, Heisman Trophy winner, and Arena League Commissioner Tim Brown shared how he hopes that this league can provide future players the opportunity to continue playing the game they love.

“We’re picking cities that have a lot of pride, but maybe they don’t have a professional football team. Maybe they don’t have anything like this. So I think from that standpoint, this place is going to be bananas when we see when we get going.”

This new team will not only bring more excitement and a chance for Northland communities to watch football through the summer months but also have a big economic impact in Duluth.

“It’s going to be a long-term economic impact. So this is a series of games that will be played right here at the DECC Arena in Canal Park every summer, and that’s exciting. What also comes with that is this is a totally new sport here. So it’s going to be new people visiting, and it’s going to be something new for our residents just to enjoy, and I can’t wait for that,” said Mayor Larson.