The AAF is moving its championship game. Originally slated to be played at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada, the game will now be played in Frisco, Texas at The Star — also known as the Cowboys training facility. The Star boasts a 12,000 person stadium and is about an hour drive from Dallas Fort-Worth Airport — yes we are using that as our starting point. There’s a lot of reports about the game moving, but there’s not much conjecture on why it’s happening, and that’s exactly what I am here for.
Let’s put this plainly, saying some AAF games have been sparsely attended would be a bit of an understatement. Fans aren’t showing up to home games, so they aren’t going to travel to a game in Las Vegas even if it’s a tourist destination. The 36,000 capacity of Sam Boyd was too much to fill unless San Antonio made the finals because the Commanders are the only team that’s really drawing in fans — we’ll get to that later.
The 12,000 fan capacity of The Star is a much better fit. It’s tough to watch a game on television when the stands are empty. Now, that won’t be a problem.
AAF Championship Game moves from Las Vegas to Texas at facility owned by Jerry Jones
The AAF and NFL have been slowly cozying up together as the inaugural AAF season has gone along. The AAF is moving towards the NFL’s minor league system. This move puts the championship game at a venue of an NFL owner which only strengthens the relationship.
Here’s why that’s bad: the NFL tends to be slow on trying new things. The more the NFL controls the AAF, the worse it could be for creativity in the rules, presenting the game and the worst part is it could slow down the AAF’s relationship with gambling.
The AAFs first championship game will no longer be held in Las Vegas on April 27, as originally planned. Instead, the game will now be played in the Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas — a 12,000 seat facility owned and operated by Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. The facility is currently shared with the Cowboys, the city of Frisco and the Frisco Independent School District.
The reason the AAF wanted to play the game in Las Vegas is because it believes that legalized gambling will contribute to strong revenue streams and sources for the league. The NFL hasn’t exactly been cool with gambling. They fought the repeal of PASPA and then keep on trying to limit the types of betting options available for fans — like limit player props bets.
The AAF moved its championship game away from the gambling mecca of the United States to an NFL practice venue. That’s the opposite of fun.
San Antonio has had the best crowd in the AAF this season. Maybe some fans will drive to Frisco to catch the game. If San Antonio makes it to the championship, it’s going to be a home game for the commanders.
Ben Kercheval joined CBS Sports in 2016 and has been covering college football since 2010. Before CBS, Ben worked at Bleacher Report, UPROXX Sports and NBC Sports. As a long-suffering North Texas graduate,… Full Bio
Texas and football go together. It’s a simple story we’ve heard a thousand times before, but it’s true. The move really helps with the AAF brand.
Fans who purchased tickets for the game in Vegas will receive full refunds. Tickets for the new championship game will go on sale on March 28. The game will be broadcast on CBS at 8 p.m. ET.
The NFL can now help the AAF championship a bigger event. The NFL and the Cowboys have a ton of institutional knowledge when it comes to making games a spectacle. The AAF probably has some NFL business veterans in their office, but it’s nothing like the people who work for the NFL, Legends — which is owned by Jerry Jones — and the Dallas Cowboys.
The Alliance of American Football announced on Wednesday that the game will be played in the Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas. The game was originally scheduled to be played in Las Vegas.
"To be able to showcase our brand of top-flight football on NFL Draft weekend in the state-of-the-art football facility built by Jerry [Jones] is a Texas-sized win for our league," said Bill Polian, head of football, The Alliance. "Texas has played a huge support role in the launch of The Alliance. Our San Antonio Commanders average nearly 30,000 in attendance for home games, and we are sure football fans in Dallas/Fort Worth will support our Championship."
"The Alliance has built a foundation of high-quality football, revolutionary technology and world-class partnerships with the NFL, CBS and Turner Sports," said Jones. "It was only natural that we at the Cowboys organization would want to join that great group of partners. I have always believed that our great game of football could use a league to give players the shot they needed to make it to the NFL, and Bill Polian, Tom Dundon and Charlie Ebersol, have done just that. We are proud to be able to host their inaugural Championship Game."