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  • Georgia Force gets new owner

    LAWRENCEVILLE — Arthur Blank can now win two football championships in the same year.
    Blank, who already owns the Atlanta Falcons, got the go-ahead Tuesday to become the new owner of the Georgia Force, the Arena Football League team that plays home games in the Arena at Gwinnett Center.
    The league board of directors approved Blank as the new Force owner during their meeting Tuesday in Las Vegas. It was the last step in purchasing the team from former owner and Gwinnett resident Virgil Williams.
    Transfer of the club is immediate, and Force staff members are relocating this week to the Atlanta Falcons training complex in Flowery Branch.
    Blank and team officials are expected to discuss plans for the Georgia Force in a media briefing Monday at the Flowery Branch training complex.
    Blank and Williams reached an agreement in principle May 24. At that time, team officials said it was unclear if the Force would continue playing home games in the Arena at Gwinnett Center.
    The announcement Tuesday gave no indication of the plans. The answer could come at the press conference Monday.
    Blank is the fifth NFL majority owner to purchase a stake in an AFL franchise. The NFL season typically ends in January, with the Arena League running from February to June.
    “We intend to put the same passion into the Force as we continue to put into the Atlanta Falcons,” Blank said Tuesday in a press release.
    “We have the same objectives with the Force as we do with the Falcons: putting a winning team on the field, creating a great game-day experience, and being a winning team off the field in the community. Our goal is to build a team the fans will embrace for years to come, and all of Georgia will be proud to call its own.”
    Also on Tuesday, Blank named Atlanta Falcons Marketing Chief Dick Sullivan president of the Georgia Force. Sullivan, who will continue to spearhead Atlanta Falcons marketing, will try to turn around a Force team that went 7-9 this past year.
    Williams acquired the Arena League franchise in February 2000, then relocated it from Nashville to Georgia. Renamed the Georgia Force, the team played its first season in downtown Atlanta before moving to the Arena at Gwinnett Center in Duluth last year.

  • #2
    Re: Georgia Force gets new owner

    The only way arthur is going to win two football championships in the same year is if the arena league plays two title games in the same year. THe falcons are not close to winning a title.

    ramming speed to all

    general counsel


    • #3
      Re: Georgia Force gets new owner

      Trade Vick to the Arena league....That's where he belongs
      sigpic :ram::helmet:


      • #4
        Re: Georgia Force gets new owner

        Vick LMAO,, LOOSER


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          FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (Jan. 1, 2007) -- Atlanta fired coach Jim Mora on Monday, just two years after he led the Falcons to the NFC Championship Game.

          The decision to dump the fiery coach followed two straight disappointing seasons. The Falcons lost six of their final eight games in 2005 to miss the playoffs, and they finished 7-9 this season by losing seven of the last nine contests.

          Owner Arthur Blank made the announcement at the team's suburban training complex.

          Atlanta went into the final weekend with a slim chance to slip into the playoffs with a .500 record. That ended Saturday night when the New York Giants won at Washington; the Falcons closed the season Sunday with a meaningless 24-17 loss at Philadelphia.

          Mora's final game was in the same stadium where the Falcons lost to the Eagles for the NFC championship at the end of the 2004 season, coming up one victory short of the Super Bowl.

          The 45-year-old Mora, son of longtime NFL coach Jim Mora, went 26-22 in three seasons as Atlanta's coach.

          A former defensive coordinator in San Francisco, the younger Mora led the Falcons to the NFC South title in his rookie season. The team slumped to 8-8 a year ago, then endured his first losing record.

          "This was an extremely difficult decision for us," Blank said in a statement before holding a news conference to announce the decision. "We had the highest hopes and aspirations for a long run with Jim as our coach, but we feel this decision is in the best long-term interests of our franchise. I have great respect for Jim's passion for the game, and we wish Jim and his family all of the best."

          Mora had two years left on his contract, which was extended before this season. He could not immediately be reached for comment; a message was left on his cell phone.
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          The upcoming matchup is a throwback considering all the changes in Atlanta.
          With the additions of Jim Mora Jr. and Ric McKay in the front office. It sort of feels like we have seen these folks before.
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          As with the San Francisco Matchup win. The Falcons are looking to contain the Rams new one two punch in Marshall and Steve Jackson. Both backs looked great. And with a secondary that needs to step up to put pressure on Vick,the Rams will count on Archuleta and Williams once more to make a solid impact.
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          Georgia Force owner Arthur Blank speaks during an afternoon press conference Monday at the Falcons’ Flowery Branch headquarters. Blank spoke about the possibility of moving the team’s games to Philips Arena in Atlanta.

          FLOWERY BRANCH — In the next two weeks, the Georgia Force will officially announce whether it will continue to play games at the Arena at Gwinnett Center.
          Though new team president Dick Sullivan called it a “coin flip” during a press conference Monday at the team’s new facility in Flowery Branch, it appears as if he and owner Arthur Blank are already presenting their case for a move back to Atlanta.
          “There’s a couple of things,” Sullivan said about the reasons to move the team to Philips Arena. “There’s a lot of excitement taking place downtown. Obviously with the addition of the World of Coke and the aquarium and all the great things that are being done downtown, it seems like a logical place for us to look at.
          “But importantly, we received research back, and the fans’ interest in Philips is very, very high. Every route — 75, 85, 400, 20 — it all leads to downtown. But at the same time we love Gwinnett. I think Gwinnett is terrific. I attended a couple of games there, and they’ve done a phenomenal job in that building.”
          However, it’s the building itself, or more specifically the seating capacity, that has the Force’s new management concerned. The Arena at Gwinnett Center has a capacity of just 11,200, while Philips seats 20,300 for Hawks games and 18,750 for Thrashers contests.
          “The difficulty we have is that it is the second-smallest arena in the AFL,” Sullivan said. “And nothing I know that Arthur’s ever done wants to be associated with the second smallest. Because of the demand that we already have within the marketplace, we think that we could fill up Philips. So when you’re dealing with the difference between 10 and 15,000, we want to be able to reach out to as many fans as possible.”
          The question is: Will they?
          The Force drew 9,160 people per home game in 2004, which ranked 16th in the 19-team league and was almost 3,000 below the AFL average of 12,019. But those figures were an improvement on the team’s attendance in 2002, when the Force drew just 7,070 people per game at Philips before deciding to move to Gwinnett under former owner Virgil Williams.
          Sullivan, who is also the marketing chief for the Falcons, doesn’t seem concerned about those low numbers repeating themselves if the team moves back for the 2005 season.
          “There are a lot of things that are stacked in our favor,” he said. “When you look at the last couple of years, NFL owners that have purchased AFL teams, their teams rank in the top five of the 20 teams in terms of attendance. So, if you’re an NFL-owned team, you’re going to historically be at the top...
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