Pro Football Likely Returning to San Diego

Alliance of American Football expected to put a franchise in America's Finest City in 2019

Since 1920, when the American Professional Football Association (which would soon change its name to the National Football League) was formed, there have been multiple other American pro football organizations.

The American Football League would eventually merge with the NFL but other upstarts have not been as successful at taking on the Shield. The United Football League (at least two different versions), Atlantic Coast Football League, Seaboard Football League, Continental Football League, World Football League, United States Football League, and XFL have all tried and failed.

And yet new organizations keep trying to take a run at getting a slice of the multi-billion dollar pie that is the NFL’s annual revenue. It looks like the newest one is going to try and bring pro football back to San Diego.

In February of 2019 the Alliance of American Football (AAF) is going to start an 8-team league that plays from February through April. The AAF has already announced it will place teams in Atlanta, Memphis, Orlando, Phoenix, and Salt Lake City and now it looks like San Diego is going to be added to that list.

The AAF is expected to announce a team name for the San Diego franchise soon and name the other two cities to finish the league (presumably with at least one more on the west coast).

Games are expected to be played at SDCCU Stadium, the current home of the Aztecs and former home of the NFL’s Chargers. The AAF has several big names attached to it, including Charlie Ebersol (son of NBC Sports president Dick Ebersol) as well as Pro Football Hall of Famers like Bill Polian and Mike Singletary.

With the uncertainty of what happens to that stadium and the Mission Valley land it sits on after November’s election it’s expected that the AAF will only have a one-year deal with SDCCU Stadium then see what happens after that.

League salaries are not yet known but Ebersol has shared a few tweaks in the playing rules. The AAF will eliminate kickoffs, instead starting with the ball on the 25 yard line. If a team is trailing and in a situation that would necessitate an onside kick, that team has the option of taking the ball, 4th and 10, at its own 35 yard line. If they convert, they get to keep going with the drive.

There will also be no extra points to promote more going for 2-point conversions and the play clock will be 30 seconds as opposed to the NFL’s 40 seconds, according to Ebersol.

Rosters will likely be made up of college players who did not spend significant time on NFL rosters and former professionals looking for another chance to get paid playing football.

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