Arena football returns to Roanoke; Star City welcomes the Virginia Iron Horses

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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) -- The Berglund Center announced Monday the return of indoor football to Roanoke.

The Berglund Center says The National Gridiron League (NGL) is bringing the Virginia Iron Horses to Roanoke. The NGL plans on debuting a new spring indoor football league in 12 U.S. cities in March 2019. According to the Berglund Center, the Virginia Iron Horses will play its first home game in spring of 2019.

The NGL was founded in 2017 as a minor league alternative to the National Football League.

The Berglund Center says the NGL is based in the Southeast and will "draw many of its players from college football's major conferences."

“Citizens of the Roanoke Valley have a great love of sports in all forms,” stated Mayor Sherman Lea, “and we are pleased to expand our choices and welcome the National Gridiron League to our community. We encourage fans of the game and citizens to support our newest professional team, the Virginia Iron Horses.”

NGL Commissioner Joe McClendon says Roanoke was chosen for a reason.

“Roanoke and Southwest Virginia are special places, further made special by the people. Everything about the city fits the brand of the National Gridiron League – we’re young, we’re diverse, we’re on the rise, and we aren’t afraid of hard work. We believe these characteristics are a reflection of the people of Roanoke and Virginia’s Blue Ridge. In addition, the region has demonstrated an unmatched passion for college football for over twenty years. That passion and pride deserve a professional football team to call their own. We are proud to join the City of Roanoke and Berglund Center to bring professional football to Virginia’s Blue Ridge.”

Season tickets for the Virginia Iron Horses go on sale this fall. For more information, click here.