ALBANY — Fans of the Albany Empire will have to wait a little longer for the return of arena football to Times Union Center.
The National Arena League announced Tuesday that it has pushed back the start of the eight-game regular season to May 22. According to the NAL press release, the move was made because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Arena football is all about the fans, they help make the game great,” Commissioner Chris Siegfried said in the release. “We wouldn’t think about playing without our fans, and this decision was made with them in mind.”
The Empire, who won the ArenaBowl title in 2019 before the Arena Football League folded several months later, joined the NAL last August. They will play three of their first four games at home, beginning, May 22, when they host Ontario. On May 29, Carolina visits Albany. The Empire go to Columbus on June 4, and then return home June 12 to face Orlando. The Empire visits Jersey on June 21, and then go Orlando July 10. The Empire’s final home game is July 17 against Jersey. The regular-season finale is July 24 at Jacksonville.