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Sprint Center Gets A Tenant: AFL's Kansas City Bridgade Returning In 2011

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Yes, I know all of you have been waiting for this news: Arena Football will be back in Kansas City in 2011.

The AFL returns under new leadership and a "new economic model" -- whatever that means. For Kansas City, this means another season of the Brigade.

The league folded last year due to financial concerns only to re-emerge.

The owner of the Brigade, Chris Likens, is (was?) a Chiefs season ticket-holder and well-respected in the community. It's unclear if former Chiefs defensive lineman Neil Smith is returning as co-owner.

Here are the statements from Likens and the AFL Commissioner:

"The return of arena football presents a unique opportunity to give back to citizens throughout the region—both in the form of entertainment as well as in community and charitable endeavors," said Chris Likens. "I always believed that Arena Football would return to Kansas City – we were simply awaiting the right circumstance. The optimal circumstance has presented itself and, as a lifelong Kansas Citian, I look forward to the opportunity of joining the legacy of generosity evidenced throughout this community in and out of sports."

"Kansas City’s enthusiasm for Arena Football is unmatched and interested observers from around the country are floored by the passion of AFL fans in the market," said Jerry Kurz, Commissioner of the Arena Football League. "The expansion committee was impressed with Likens’ Family efforts to connect with the community and their resolve during a time of uncertainty."

Do you know who the mascot of the Brigade is? Captain Max Runway.

You learn something new everyday.