The Alliance of American Football is moving its championship game from Las Vegas to Frisco, Texas.
The new eight-team spring league, which plays its seventh set of games this weekend, said Wednesday that the April 27 title match will switch to The Ford Center at the Star, which is owned by Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys and is the indoor practice arena for the team.
"I am a big fan of The Alliance," Jones said. "They are the first high-quality alternative football league to come along in a long time. The championship being live in prime time on CBS and the league's success in drawing good crowds in Texas means this will be a great event for the fans of the Dallas/Fort Worth area."
Originally, the title game was set for Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, an aging college facility. But when Tom Dundon, owner of the NHL's Carolina Hurricanes, joined the Alliance last month as chairman, he helped arrange for the championship game's move to Texas during a meeting with Jones at the NFL combine.
Fans who purchased tickets to the game in Las Vegas will receive full refunds.
Pro Football Hall of Fame executive Bill Polian and TV-film producer Charlie Ebersol are co-founders of the Alliance, whose games have been televised by CBS, CBS Sports Network, Turner Sports and NFL Network.
"To have the championship in the Dallas Cowboys' facility immediately following the NFL draft was an opportunity we could not pass up," Ebersol said, noting that the Alliance's San Antonio franchise has been one of its most popular. "The reception we have received in Texas has been tremendous, in many ways exceeding our expectations, and holding the biggest game of our inaugural season there will be an incredible experience for players, fans and the league. When this idea came up, we spoke with our Vegas partners ... to explain why we thought the move was ultimately in the best interest of the league, and they were understanding. Las Vegas and Sam Boyd have been phenomenal partners and we look forward to bringing many more future events to the city."
One of the AAF's long-term goals would include an affiliation with the NFL. Having Jones, one of the NFL's most powerful owners, in its corner can't hurt the Alliance.
Jones plans to attend the title game after finishing his work as general manager of the Cowboys as the three-day draft ends earlier that Saturday.
"Yes I do. Just as soon as we reach an agreement with our last undrafted free agent," he said. "Don't want to miss out on a Tony Romo.
"I watch the games. I'm a fan. I have been very impressed with the Alliance. The quality of football has exceeded our expectations, and the reception among the fans and the television viewers has been encouraging. There are few football minds I respect as much as Bill Polian, and he has delivered.
"I don't know what the future holds with respect to a potential relationship between the Alliance and the NFL, but they have certainly done a great job of laying the groundwork for players, coaches, officials, executives, and technology to get developed. I always say, what is good for the game of football is good for all of us. It floats all boats."
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