ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Albany Businessman Peter Studl signed a contract with the American Indoor Football Association today to start a franchise in Albany.
But he still has several hurdles to jump through before any team is formed. It's a backup plan in case the deal between the city and the South Georgia Wildcats doesn't work out.
While the Wildcats may be the face of the Albany Civic Center, with big signs and the big crowds they draw for games, the teams future is still unknown. They let a contract with the city fall through, and now others are looking to slide into their place.
Michael Mink is the Co-Owner of the American Indoor Football Association, a four year old league that has signed an agreement to allow a team to be formed in Albany. "We're looking forward to Albany having an American Indoor football Association team here in the 2010 season."
Mink says the AIFA is solvent, not having the financial troubles of the AFL, or the AF2, and not in danger of crumbling.
But the deal isn't complete and can't be without financial backers, and, of course, a deal with the city.
Studl said, "We're starting out with a great product, so now it's a question of approval by the city and we do want to put together a really broad based ownership group."
Which Studl says he's still trying to organize.
The South Georgia Wildcats, an AF2 team, allowed a contract with the city to expire. Now, if they plan to stay in Albany, they'll have to renegotiate the terms of that contract. So Studl says there's no time like the present to present his own plan.
"I think the city needs to do what's best for the citizens and that's if it wants to, look at both deals."
But will it work? "Do you think people have faith that Peter Studl can pull this off? Well, Albany's a tough market, you know that, but all this stuff, you get the right people together and you get the right organization and energy and you try. You just try to do it."
"We're ready to move forward, we're behind him 110% and we're ready to play AIFA football in 2010."
But in order for any team to play in Albany next season, a decision must be made soon by the city... there is only about a month left before season schedules have to be firmed up.
Peter Studl says he would be happy to move forward with the same contract terms the city offered the Wildcats, but they city says that's not likely.
The Wildcats say AF2 will make a big announcement September 16th, and that their future in Albany will become clear. Click HERE to learn more about the American Indoor Football Association.