Staggs Finalizing Negotiations for Soldier Field Lease

When the A11 Football League debuts for its first official season in March of 2015, the Chicago Staggs are expected to play at  Soldier Field.

The league confirmed via a facebook comment Monday that it was finalizing negotiations for the Staggs to become a second tenant at the current home venue of the National Football League’s Chicago Bears and the former home of several other football and soccer teams, including Major League Soccer’s Chicago Fire.

The Staggs, named after the famous former coach of the University of Chicago Maroons, Amos Alonzo Stagg, when the school participated in Division I athletics.  Stagg coached football, basketball and baseball at various points in his career with Chicago.  The team name also pays homage to Chicago’s first NBA team, the Chicago Stags, who played in the league from 1946 to 1950.

The A11FL will feature a few rule changes, most notably marking all eleven players as eligible receivers.  The league intends to utilize a single-entity model in which the league owns 51% of each franchise, while the other 49% will be a form of fan ownership.

Eight teams will participate in the fourteen week regular season, and five will qualify for the postseason.  Six franchises have already been announced, and two more are yet to come.  The Bay Area Sea Lions will represent the entire San Francisco Bay Area.  The Dallas Wranglers may play at the Cotton Bowl, where the league is scheduled to play a showcase game in 2014.  The Los Angeles Express will reportedly play at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, former home of the Los Angeles Rams and later the Los Angeles Raiders, as well as the current home of the USC Trojans.  The New Jersey Generals are expected to play at MetLife Stadium, also home of the National Football League’s New York Giants and New York Jets.  The Tampa Bay Bandits are expected to play at Raymond James Stadium, which will also host a showcase game in 2014 in addition to the game in Dallas.

The six remaining finalist cities for the remaining two franchises include Denver, Detroit, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Antonio and Seattle.

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