|Head coach||Chris Siegfried|
|Home arena||Consol Energy Center |
|City, State||[[Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania]]|
The Pittsburgh Power is an Arena Football League team based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania that began play in March of 2011. The team plays its home games at the new Consol Energy Center, which they share with the Pittsburgh Penguins of the National Hockey League. The team is part of the league's American Conference East Division.
Pittsburgh was the fourth city added for the 2011 AFL season, joining the San Jose SaberCats, Kansas City Command and their new in-state rivals the Philadelphia Soul - who were all returning to the Arena Football League after a two year absence.
Pittsburgh's prior AFL history
Prior to the announcement of Pittsburgh's 2011 expansion team, the city was the home to the Pittsburgh Gladiators, one of the four original franchises of the first Arena Football League in 1987. The AFL's very first league game, (not counting the playtest games at the Rockford MetroCenter and the Rosemont Horizon), was played in the Pittsburgh Civic Arena between the Gladiators and Washington Commandos. The Gladiators would go on to lose ArenaBowl I to the Denver Dynamite, 45–16, that season in a game played at the Civic Arena. Two years later, the team lost ArenaBowl III, held at Joe Louis Arena to the Detroit Drive, by a score of 39–26.
The following season was the Gladiators' fourth and last in Pittsburgh after co-owner Bob Greis decided to move the franchise to Tampa, Florida. The team was renamed the Tampa Bay Storm. Greis, who had several business interests in Florida, sold the franchise a few years later. During the Storms' first year in Tampa, the team defeated the Detroit Drive, 48–42, to win ArenaBowl V. The Storm remained in Tampa and reached the playoffs in each of their next 15 seasons, winning four more AFL titles.
In 2011, Jerry Kurz, the commissioner of the Arena Football League, stated to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that the Gladiators move to Tampa had nothing to do with the attendance for the games. He instead stated that the issues that prompted the team to relocate, had more to do with the lack of additional accoutrements at the Civic Arena, such as updated luxury suites.
The current AFL policy is to give expansion teams in markets previously served by AFL teams the same name as their predecessor, since the league owns almost all rights to all team names in the league's history. However, because the unrelated Cleveland Gladiators already use the "Gladiators" name, that required the adoption of a new franchise name. Incidentally, the Power's logo is a thunderbolt, the same as a previous Cleveland AFL team, Cleveland Thunderbolts.
The team was originally rumored to be called The Pittsburgh River Wizards, according to sports blog Inside Pittsburgh Sports and by Pittsburgh-area radio host Mark Madden. The team name was changed to the Power before the official announcement by the team.
On August 20, 2010, Matt Shaner was revealed as the principal owner and general manager of the team. His father Lance, as well as former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Lynn Swann, an NFL Hall-of-Famer and Republican 2006 gubernatorial nominee, will also be a part of the team's ownership group. Shaner's family owns the Pittsburgh Marriott City Center Hotel. Like Swann, Matt Shaner was once a political candidate. In 2008 he ran an unsuccessful campaign for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. After the Colorado Crush, Kansas City Command, and Philadelphia Soul, the Power are the fourth team in Arena Football League history to have a former NFL player as part of its ownership group.
Pittsburgh Power roster
Other League Exempt
Refuse to Report
Rookies in italics
- "Arena Football League coming to Pittsburgh". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. 2010-08-19. http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/s_695496.html. Retrieved 2010-08-19.
- Anderson, Shelly (2010-08-20). "New arena football team called Pittsburgh Power". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10232/1081432-100.stm. Retrieved 2010-08-20.
- "Pittsburgh Power unveiled as arena football expansion team". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. 2010-08-20. http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/s_695755.html. Retrieved 2010-08-20.
- "Expansion Arena Football League team to be announced on Friday". Inside Pittsburgh Sports. 2010-08-19. http://insidepittsburghsports.com/story/expansion-arena-football-league-team-to-be-introduced-on-friday/28660/. Retrieved 2010-08-19.