The Alliance of American Football on Wednesday announced it is moving its championship game from Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas to The Star in Frisco, Texas. The game will still be played Sunday, April 28 at 8 p.m. ET, and televised by CBS.
The indoor, 12,000-seat facility is owned by Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and serves as his team’s practice facility in addition to the home stadium for Frisco ISD’s eight high school teams.
“The Alliance has built a foundation of high-quality football, revolutionary technology and world-class partnerships with the NFL, CBS and Turner Sports,” said Jones in a statement. “It was only natural that we at the Cowboys organization would want to join that great group of partners. I have always believed that our great game of football could use a league to give players the shot they needed to make it to the NFL, and Bill Polian, Tom Dundon and Charlie Ebersol, have done just that. We are proud to be able to host their inaugural Championship Game.”
The inaugural AAF Championship becomes the third football championship game to be played in Collin County, Texas, in a 5-month span, joining the Division II and FCS championship games. It’s another bullet in the football mecca resume of the Dallas-Fort Worth area, which also hosts the Cotton Bowl, the First Responder Bowl, the Armed Forces Bowl and the Texas high school state championships, and serves as the home offices for the College Football Playoff, the National Football Foundation, the Big 12, Conference USA and, soon, the American Athletic Conference. Dallas was also the first market to receive an XFL team; the Bob Stoops-led club will play in Arlington’s Globe Life Park, the home of MLB’s Texas Rangers, who are moving to a new stadium across the street after this upcoming season.
More importantly, Wednesday’s announcement is another example of the informal relationship between the NFL and the AAF possibly becoming more formal in the not-too-distant future. The league-owned NFL Network already broadcasts AAF games, and Jones was spotted at last month’s Combine wearing an AAF cap.
— Alliance Football Focus (@AllianceFF) March 1, 2019
If there’s one owner a fledgling professional football league would like to build a formalized relationship with, it’s Jones. The Cowboys owner is unquestionably the most powerful of the league’s 32 owners, and stands as inarguably one of the most influential figures in the league.
Many have speculated the long-term path to success for the AAF would be to become an official minor league for the NFL, where NFL teams could send their practice squad players and the like to get live reps throughout the spring with the AAF.
It’s anyone’s guess when and if that will happen, but Wednesday’s announcement could be a step in that direction.