WORCESTER – On Wednesday afternoon at Worcester’s DCU Center, the National Arena League [NAL] formally announced the addition of a new league franchise — the Massachusetts Pirates.

The Pirates are the newest addition to the NAL and one of seven teams for the 2018 season.

In attendance at the team’s announcement was DCU Center General Manager Sandy Dunn, Worcester Mayor Joseph M. Petty, City Manager Edward M. Augustus, Jr and Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce President Timothy P. Murray.

Representing the NAL was Commissioner Chris Siegfried and NAL Expansion Chairman Jeff Bouche. 

“[Worcester] is a great place for this sport. The [DCU Center] is fantastic. It’s going to be a hit,” Siegfried said.

“National Arena League.  I want you to remember this name. We are in the second year of something outstanding. If you’ve never been to a game like this, you don’t know what you’re in for. It’s an outstanding game and it’s built with the fans in mind,” Siegfried added. “It’s an amazing game and an intimate atmosphere.”

Team president Jawad Yatim, of Shrewsbury, who was joined by his family and presented the crowd with a promotional video, said, “I couldn’t be more excited to provide affordable professional football entertainment for Worcester and all of Massachusetts.”

Also in attendance at the press conference was three-time Super Bowl Champion and former New England Patriot Patrick Pass, and Patriots All-Century Center and former first round draft pick, NFL lineman of the year and current Patriots alumni president, Pete Brock.

Brock said, “We’ve seen what football done right can really mean to a community. There’s going to be lots of people here on game day and the youth in the community will be inspired.”

Team Present Jawad Yatim/Photo: Alex MacDougall

As ThisWeekinWorcester reported earlier this week, the Pirates head coach is former Western Michigan University lineback Amir Ismael and former CIFL New England Surge head coach Rick Buffington will serve as vice president of football operations. The Surge was an 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.

The NAL’s regular season will run from April to July and playoffs will begin in August.

The league consists of seven teams including the Pirates,  reigning champion Jacksonville Sharks, Columbus Lions, the Lehigh Valley Steelhawks and the previously announced expansion franchise Jersey Flight. Teams in Portland, ME and Greensboro, NC will be announced later this month.

To purchase season tickets to the Pirates, click here.

You can watch the full Press Conference below:

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