Edward Jones Dome

(Photo by Robert Cohen/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/TNS)

Football League Passed On St. Louis, No Availability At The Dome

The Alliance of American Football will begin play in February in 8 U.S. cities including Birmingham, Salt Lake City, Atlanta and Memphis.

June 20, 2018 - 4:58 pm

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - A new professional football league, set to begin play next February after the Super Bowl, was reportedly asking to come to St. Louis to play games, but were told there is no availability at the Dome at America's Center. 

The AAF is the new professional spring league created by television and film producer Charlie Ebersol, Pro Football Hall of Famer Bill Polian, four-time All-Pro Jared Allen and two-time Super Bowl champions Justin Tuck and Troy Polamalu. The eight-team league will play its first games on Feb. 9, 2019, one week after Super Bowl LIII, with one game per week airing live on CBS. 

This week, the league announced its eight host cities: San Antonio, Atlanta, Birmingham, Memphis, Orlando, Phoenix, Salt Lake City and San Diego. Former St. Louis Rams head coach Mike Martz will be the head coach of the San Diego team. 

The league was told by the operators of the Dome that there was no availability for the game days in February, reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Jim Thomas. The Post reports, the AAF had interest in using St. Louis for neutral site games, but "due to contracts already signed" the Dome was not a viable option. 

The next closest football-capable stadium may be Faurot Field at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Mo. 

Each team in the league will have a roster of 50 players, created through regional drafts. The rules of the game have a few differences from the NFL, including two-and-half hour games, 30-second play clock, no kickoffs and mandatory 2-point conversions. The teams will all be owned by the league itself.

Martz believes a benefit of the league will not only be for the development of NFL players, but also NFL coaches.

"How do you teach them how to coach the right way? I think this is a great opportunity to do that," Martz says. 

The AAF is currently selling season tickets for the Orlando Alliance, who will play at University of Central Florida's Spectrum Stadium.