Albany Empire kicked out of National Arena League
The Albany Empire has been kicked out of the National Arena League.
The decision was made unanimously by the National Arena League Board of Owners.
“The decision was reached after an emergency conference call of the members in good standing to discuss the Empire’s failure to pay their league mandated and overdue assessments,” said the board in a release.
Those fees were around $21,000, NewsChannel 13 has learned.
The Empire was given a deadline of noon on Thursday – which came and went. Around 12:30, some partners with Antonio Brown tried to make some arrangements. By that point, it was simply too late.
Brown wanted to see proof the rest of the owners in the National Arena League paid before he considered paying his bill.
“I got a text last night, saying that our roster was frozen, so we couldn’t make any transactions. That’s happened before with us, so I thought it would just be things that would be taken care of, and we would be back to business as usual,” said Albany Empire Head Coach Moe Leggett. “I never knew it was going to be to this magnitude.”
This means that this Saturday’s home game — and the rest of the Empire’s season — is called off.
The team has had a lot of turmoil since former NFL player Antonio Brown took over ownership of the team earlier this year, with a revolving door of coaches and the firing of players.
Brown, a former NFL star player, practiced with his team on Wednesday. He said he was planning to play in Saturday’s game.
Meantime, MVP Arena General Manager Bob Belber told NewsChannel 13’s Rodger Wyland he thinks there will be a team at the arena in 2024.
“I can tell you that we’ve got a lot of interest from a couple of different leagues, and ownership groups that want to bring another arena football team here.”
Meantime, MVP Arena issued a statement saying season and individual ticket holders will be refunded for the remaining three home games.