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February 7, 2019

Portland arena football team pulls plug on 2019 season

Photo / William Hall
Photo / William Hall
A photo from the home opener last April of the Maine Mammoths' first season at Cross Insurance Arena in Portland. This week owners of Portland's professional arena football team informed season ticket holders that they will suspend play for the 2019 season.

Owners of Portland's professional arena football team, the Maine Mammoths, have informed season ticket holders that they will suspend play for the 2019 season.

A 2018 expansion team that finished with a 7-8 season, the Mammoths won six of their last seven games in a five-home game win streak in the National Arena League, which had six teams in the most recent season. The team's owners, Rob Storm and Richard Maslia, told ticket holders they would "make full refunds for the upcoming season."

"We will do everything we can to process those refunds as quickly as possible," Storm and Maslia wrote in a letter sent to "Mammoth Nation" with a subject line of "Not Goodbye But See You Soon."

They also said they "will remain steadfast in actively seeking new ownership for the Maine Mammoths, in the hopes that our team will be able to play again at the Cross Insurance Arena for the 2020 season and many years thereafter."

The Bangor Daily News reported that the Mammoths' announcement came as a complete surprise to Cross Insurance Arena's general manager Melanie Henkes. Even so, she said the arena was already reaching out to vendors about filling dates now available due to the arena football team's hiatus in 2019.

"For us we just look at it as opportunity," she told the newspaper. "We are going to continue booking the building the way we normally would. Now, there's a few additional days that we can offer to other vendors, local promoters, to really bring great events for Portland."

In a news release posted on its website, Maine Mammoths stated it is "still in negotiations with several local ownership groups."

"Searching for the ideal partners has been our main priority for the team," the owners stated. "With the search still underway, and the 2019 season just around the corner, we have decided to take a hiatus for the upcoming season, in order to focus full time in finding the right local group to carry on the success of the Mammoths."

Arena football is played indoors on a smaller field than the traditional gridiron field — 50 yards instead of 100 yards — resulting in faster paced, high-scoring games. The National Arena League was founded in 2016.

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