The National Gridiron Leauge (NGL) appeared on the Australian gridiron communities’ radar about a year ago and have continued to make public announcements as they push towards the inaugural 2016 season.
If you are unaware, the NGL comprises 8 teams based in Queensland and New South Wales:
- Sydney Express
- Central Coast Cyclones
- Wollongong Devils
- Newcastle Miners
- Brisbane Outlaws
- Gold Coast Kings
- Logan Wolverines
- North Coast Heat
The league currently has 110 international players signed for the 2016 season according to the NGL website with most coming from the USA. Simple arithmetic dictates that many more will be required fill out rosters before the start of the season.
To help fill out the rosters an Australian combine was run in April at CBus Super Stadium on the Gold Coast. Around 50 hopefuls, primarily from Australia, took part in the combine to show why they should be offered a contract to join the NGL.
The results and a short video from the combine have since been released, with some impressive performances recorded, and a number of contracts offered by NGL teams to some of the Australian combine attendees.
The latest NGL announcement was released by the Queensland Government, regarding the venues to be used for the NGL. The statement reads:
“The National Gridiron League is scheduled to begin later this year, and they have reached an agreement for games to be held at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane and at Cbus Super Stadium on the Gold Coast.”
“Staging these games in Queensland will mean even more focus on our state, and the potential increased economic activity that goes with it.”
“The NGL says games will be broadcast around Australia via Fox Sports, free to air television and online including into the US and Europe.”
Brisbane-based NGL team, the Outlaws, will play four home games at Suncorp Stadium and Gold Coast-based team the Kings will play three matches at Cbus Super Stadium. Where the other Queensland teams will play is currently unknown, and as yet there has been no announcement regarding New South Wales venues.
Victoria will get one opportunity to see the NGL, when it comes to Melbourne on the 8th of January 2017, at a yet to be announced venue.
Each of the 8 teams will play seven games across a 14 week season. The NGL has stated that in the future it plans to expand into South Australia, Victoria, and Western Australia.
The season will kick off on the 9th of October but I am sure we will see a lot more news about the NGL before that.