The expected creation of a two-tiered Arena Football organization could enhance the chances of the Quad-City Steamwheelers' return, i wireless Center executive director Scott Mullen said Friday.
But he couldn't predict when that return might happen.
A news conference is planned for Monday in Tulsa, Okla., to announce the formation of a new league called Arena Football 1, including teams from the former AFL and arenafootball2 leagues.
The league could include two tiers, with second-tier teams affiliated with a top-tier club.
Representatives of af2 teams in Oklahoma City, Arkansas, and Spokane, Wash., all confirmed to The Associated Press on Thursday that they intend to participate. Iowa's af2 franchise also plans to send a representative to the meetings.
The old AFL canceled its 2009 season before folding in August, ending a 22-year run. Play in af2 never was disrupted, but teams ended the season unsure of what would happen next.
"This is basically the af2 reforming itself," said Troy Thompson, director of operations for the Arkansas Twisters.
Jerry Kurz, the af2's president for the last nine years, is expected to preside over the combined operation from a league office in Tulsa, Okla.
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Mullen missed a call from Kurz this week but hopes to speak with him after next week's announcement.
Earlier this month, Mullen said the Moline arena expected to exercise a league office offer of one year of dormancy while hoping new ownership surfaced for a local indoor football team. Now he hopes the new Arena Football 1 structure will help attract interest for a 2010 season.
"The news is the AFL and af2 aren't going away," he said. "They have merged and come back with a better business model. That might attract new owners."
Founding Wheelers owner Jim Foster said a Q-C team will be more affordable to operate under an affiliation system in the two-tiered league and with new cost efficiencies, including a merged and relocated league office. Mullen said he is more hopeful now than he was at the start of the month.
"If anybody is interested in keeping the Steamwheelers going, give us a call," he said.