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620px-Pittsburgh Power logo

Pittsburgh Power logo

Pittsburgh Power
League AFL
Conference Western
Founded 2010
Arena Consol Energy Center 2011–present
City Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Team Owner
Head Coach Chris Siegfried
Team President
Team Colors Black, Gold, Silver, White
Conference titles None
ArenaBowl titles None
History Pittsburgh Power (2010–present)
Dancers PIttsburgh Spark Dance Team
Mascot
Website http://www.pittsburghpowerfootball.com/

The Pittsburgh Power is an Arena Football League team based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania that began play in March 2011. The team plays its home games at the new Consol Energy Center, which they share with the Pittsburgh Penguins of the National Hockey League. The team is part of the league's American Conference East Division. The Power share the same color scheme (black & gold) as Pittsburgh's other professional sports teams, the Pittsburgh Penguins of the NHL, the Pittsburgh Steelers of the NFL, and the Pittsburgh Pirates of the MLB.[1]

Pittsburgh was the fourth city added for the 2011 AFL season, joining the San Jose SaberCats, Kansas City Command and their new in-state rivals the Philadelphia Soul - who were all returning to the Arena Football League after a two year absence.[2]

On March 9, 2012, the entire Pittsburgh Power roster was released prior to its opening game against the Orlando Predators due to a labor disagreement between the owners and the players' union. However, with the aid of a few replacements, the team managed to win 40-26.[3] Following the victory, 22 of the 24 released players were offered their jobs back (quarterback Kyle Rowley and kicker Taylor Rowan being the lone exceptions), with 18 accepting and returning to the team.

Pittsburgh's prior AFL teamsEdit

Prior to the announcement of Pittsburgh's 2011 expansion team, the city was the home to the Pittsburgh Gladiators, one of the four original franchises of the Arena Football League in 1987. The AFL's very first league game, not counting the playtest games at the Rockford MetroCenter and the Rosemont Horizon, was played in the Pittsburgh Civic Arena between the Gladiators and Washington Commandos. The Gladiators would go on to lose ArenaBowl I to the Denver Dynamite, 45–16, that season in a game played at the Civic Arena. Two years later, the team lost ArenaBowl III, held at Joe Louis Arena, to the Detroit Drive by a score of 39–26.

The following season was the Gladiators' fourth and last in Pittsburgh after co-owner Bob Greis decided to move the franchise to Tampa, Florida. The team was renamed the Tampa Bay Storm. Greis, who had several business interests in Florida, sold the franchise a few years later. During the Storms' first year in Tampa, the team defeated the Detroit Drive, 48–42, to win ArenaBowl V. The Storm remained in Tampa and reached the playoffs in each of their next 15 seasons, winning four more AFL titles.

In 2011, Jerry Kurz, the commissioner of the Arena Football League, stated to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that the Gladiators move to Tampa had nothing to do with the attendance for the games. He instead stated that the issues that prompted the team to relocate had more to do with the lack of additional accoutrements at the Civic Arena, such as updated luxury suites.[4]

2011 expansionEdit

The current AFL policy is to give expansion teams in markets previously served by AFL teams the same name as their predecessor, since the league owns almost all rights to all team names in the league's history. However, because the unrelated Cleveland Gladiators already use the "Gladiators" name, that required the adoption of a new franchise name. Incidentally, the Power's logo is a thunderbolt, the same as a previous Cleveland AFL team, Cleveland Thunderbolts.[5]

The team was originally rumored to be called The Pittsburgh River Wizards, according to sports blog Inside Pittsburgh Sports and by Pittsburgh-area radio host Mark Madden. The team name was changed to the Power before the official announcement by the team.[6]

Franchise ownershipEdit

On August 20, 2010, Matt Shaner was revealed as the principal owner and general manager of the team. His father Lance, as well as former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Lynn Swann, an NFL Hall-of-Famer and Republican 2006 gubernatorial nominee, will also be a part of the team's ownership group. Shaner's family owns the Pittsburgh Marriott City Center Hotel. Like Swann, Matt Shaner was once a political candidate. In 2008 he ran an unsuccessful campaign for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. After the Colorado Crush, Kansas City Command, and Philadelphia Soul, the Power are the fourth team in Arena Football League history to have a former NFL player as part of its ownership group.[7]

2011 Team rosterEdit

Pittsburgh Power roster
Quarterbacks

Fullbacks

Wide receivers

Offensive linemen

Defensive linemen

Linebackers

Defensive backs

Kickers

Injured reserve

League suspension

Other league exempt

Refuse to report

Rookies in italics

Roster updated April 4, 2012</br>

24 Active, 14 Inactive

More rosters

ReferencesEdit

  1. "List of Teams", Arenafootball.com. 
  2. Rossi, Bob. "Arena Football League coming to Pittsburgh", Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 2010-08-19. Retrieved on 2010-08-19. 
  3. Chase, Chris. "Entire Arena Football team cut during pregame meal at Olive Garden", Another horrible Chris Chase Article, 2012-03-12. Retrieved on 2012-03-12. 
  4. DiPaola, Jerry. "Indoor football returns to the City of Champions", Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 2011-02-24. Retrieved on 2012-02-07. 
  5. Anderson, Shelly. "New arena football team called Pittsburgh Power", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 2010-08-20. Retrieved on 2010-08-20. 
  6. "Expansion Arena Football League team to be announced on Friday", Inside Pittsburgh Sports, 2010-08-19. Retrieved on 2010-08-19. 
  7. Rossi, Bob. "Pittsburgh Power unveiled as arena football expansion team", Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 2010-08-20. Retrieved on 2010-08-20. 
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