BALTIMORE, Maryland (July 2, 2009) – The first round of playoff action in the American Indoor Football Association begins tonight in Reading, Pennsylvania, as the Reading Express host the Baltimore Mariners. The game will be played at the Sovereign Center, where a large crowd is anticipated.
The Express won the North Division of the AIFA with an 11-3 record, but two of their losses were to their cross-state rivals. In the last six games, both teams have posted exceptional 5-1 records. There is considerable intrigue in this game, since the Mariners have won both previous meetings. For Baltimore to advance, they must beat Reading three times in the same season. But, it can also be said that for Reading to advance, they must beat Baltimore once...something they have been unable to do.
The South Division playoff matchup features the division-champion Columbus Lions hosting the Fayetteville Guard at the Columbus Civic Center Monday, July 6th. These two formidable teams split their two previous meetings this year. The Lions finished the season 11-3, while the Guard posted an 8-6 record. Again, a large crowd is expected for this game in Columbus, Georgia.
This year's post-season marks the first implementation of the AIFA's new playoff financial support package, aimed at reducing expenditures for participating playoff teams during the time of year when budgets are stretched. The package provides targeted financial support, in order to allow league teams to focus on playoff preparation.
This is also the final week of the regular season for teams in the AIFA West. On July 4th, the Wyoming Cavalry will host the Ogden Knights at the Casper Events Center. On July 6th, the New Mexico Wildcats welcome the Utah Valley Thunder to the Santa Ana Star Center.
A complete multimedia preview of these games is available through the AIFA's weekly Internet Radio program, This Week in the AIFA. The program is available for download through the AIFA's home site (www.aifaprofootball.com) and OurSports Central (www.oursportscentral.com).