The Alliance of American Football – which has suffered teething troubles with regards to attendances and TV ratings – has announced that its championship game will move from Las Vegas to Frisco, Texas.
The April 27 title match switches to the Ford Center at the Star, a 12,000-seater facility owned and operated by Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. The first two title games of the eight-team spring league were originally due to be played at the 36,000-capacity Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas.
Fans who purchased tickets for the game in Vegas will receive full refunds.
It is unclear exactly why the move has been made, especially to a much smaller venue. But it will avoid the prospect of dozens of empty seats and it further solidifies a burgeoning relationship between the Alliance and the NFL. The Alliance is broadcast on the NFL Network, among other channels.
“We are eternally grateful to the people and city of Las Vegas as well as Las Vegas Events and the LVCVA for their early support and confidence in what we have created. Not only is Las Vegas the home of our investor and world-class partner, MGM Resorts International, Vegas is the undisputed mecca for live events,” said the AAF’s chief executive Charlie Ebersol.
“While we won’t play our championship game in Vegas this year, we will still be offering a one-of-a-kind experience for Alliance fans in Las Vegas during our Championship weekend.”
In February, Thomas Dundon, owner of the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes, invested $250m (€220.8m) into the Alliance, which the fledgling league denied represented a financial bailout.