CHICAGO – The 2013 NET10 Arena Football League season will begin with an ArenaBowl XXV rematch as the Arizona Rattlers will host the Philadelphia Soul on CBS Sports Network to kick off the 2013 season, the League office announced today. Each team will play 18 games and receive one bye during the 19-week regular season. The full prime time schedule will be released soon.The regular season will officially begin with the New Orleans VooDoo hosting the Orlando Predators on Thursday, March 21, 2013, and will run through the weekend of July 26, 2013. The CBS Television Network will air the ArenaBowl on Saturday, August 17, 2013 at 1:00 PM, ET.
CBS Sports Network will kick off its AFL coverage on Saturday, March 23, as the Arizona Rattlers take on the Philadelphia Soul. Eight other teams will also be in action that night, as J.J. Raterink and the Iowa Barnstormers travel to the Allstate Arena to take on his former team, the Chicago Rush; the reigning AFL MVP, Tommy Grady, and the Utah Blaze head to Pittsburgh for a meeting with the Power; the Tampa Bay Storm host the three-time South Division-champion Jacksonville Sharks; and future Hall of Famer Aaron Garcia heads back to the Alamodome, this time in a San Jose SaberCats uniform, to face off against the team he led to a Central Division title in 2012, the San Antonio Talons. The Spokane Shock and Cleveland Gladiators will finish off Week 1 by matching up on Sunday, March 24, 2013 from Cleveland.
Other games of note:
- The Utah Blaze will host the Arizona Rattlers in a Week 2 rematch of the 2012 National Conference Championship game.
- Orlando Predators Head Coach Doug Plank will face off against the Philadelphia Soul, who he guided to ArenaBowl XXV, from Orlando in Week 3.
- The San Jose SaberCats and Arizona Rattlers renew their rivalry in Week 3, pitting ArenaBowl XXV MVP, Nick Davila, against the man who bested him for MVP honors in ArenaBowl XXIV, Aaron Garcia.
- A rematch of the 2012 American Conference Championship game will take place in Week 5 when the Jacksonville Sharks matchup with the Philadelphia Soul in Philly.
- The Orlando Predators and Tampa Bay Storm will rekindle the “War on I-4” in Weeks 5 and 12.
For the complete 2013 AFL regular season schedule, click here.