For the first time in ten years, arena football is coming back to Worcester.
The Massachusetts Pirates, the newest team in the National Arena League [NAL], will play their games in the DCU Center beginning April 2018.
The Pirates follow the New England Surge, the indoor football team that played at the DCU Center from 2007 to 2008.
Before the Surge – a member of the Continental Indoor Football League – was the 1994 Massachusetts Marauders, part of the Arena Football League that played at the then Worcester Centrum, but folded due to low attendance numbers.
An arena football field is only 50 yards long [half the length of an NFL field] with walls along the sidelines.
The NAL was formed just this year and is made up of six teams: Jacksonville Sharks, Columbus Lions, Lehigh Valley, Steelhawks, Jersey Flight, Monterrey Steel and Georgia Firebirds. However, according to insidethearena.org, the Steel and Firebirds have yet to commit to the 2018 season.
During the 2017 season, each team played 12 regular season games — six home games, and six games on the road.
In an email to TWIW, NAL Expansion Chairman Jeff Bouche said the league had no comment at this time.
Editor’s Note: A previous version of this story stated that former New England Surge head coach Rick Buffington was the owner of the team. That information was incorrect. Please return to ThisWeekinWorcester.com in the coming weeks for more information on the Massachusetts Pirates.