The two men behind the year-old National Arena League say they are excited about a football franchise in Portland to begin play next April at Cross Insurance Arena, but acknowledged they have a few details to work out.

“What you guys are going to see in Portland is awesome,” said Joe Bouchy, chair of the NAL’s expansion committee. “We’re putting a lot of money and expertise behind the Portland market.”

Bouchy said a lease agreement with the arena’s board of directors could be signed as early as Thursday, but at the close of the business day, that had not been done.

Chris Siegfried, commissioner of the NAL, and Bouchy attended a press conference Wednesday in Worcester to announce the league’s newest member, the Massachusetts Pirates.

Siegfried said that two more franchises, in Portland and Greensboro, North Carolina, will be announced within a few weeks.

“We’re going to play starting in April,” Siegfried said Thursday. “The main focus now is getting the word out. We know that if people come to a game, they’re going to fall in love. It’s a fast-paced, entertaining indoor war, if you will.”

There were eight original NAL franchises at the start of the 2017 season, but only three – Jacksonville, Lehigh Valley (Pennsylvania) and Columbus (Georgia) – appear poised to play a second season. Besides Worcester, an expansion franchise in Trenton, New Jersey, has been announced.

Bouchy said Thursday he’s still waiting on two markets, Orlando and Monterrey, Mexico.

Orlando has a long history of arena football that was interrupted last season, and Monterrey took part in the first year of NAL but hasn’t committed to a second.

Bouchy said the Portland franchise has a coach in place and is owned by National Sports Ventures, a limited liability company out of Georgia.

Siegfried said the team president will be Will Riley, a financial planner with ties to New England.

Neither Bouchy nor Siegfried would disclose the name of the coach or the franchise, but a search of the United States Patent and Trademark Office website revealed applications filed earlier this month by National Sports Ventures of Atlanta for both Maine Mammoths and Carolina Cobras for apparel, uniforms and entertainment services involved with “indoor American-style football games before live audiences and on television, radio, social media and other media.”

Bouchy said the team in Maine will offer two season tickets for $99, which he said was affordable for families, that will include seven or eight home games as part of a 14- or 15-game schedule between April and July.

The league playoffs will be in August.

He also said that “we’ll be broadcasting games on local television there.”

Players in the NAL are paid on a per-game basis with a bonus for victories. Last year, Siegfried said, that amounted to $150 per game with a $50 bonus for winning.

Teams typically sign 40 players for training camp and cut down to an active roster of 24, with 21 dressing for games.

Only eight players per team will be on the field during the games.

Siegfried acknowledged the league’s growing pains – two games involving a Corpus Christi, Texas, franchise that has been disbanded were canceled last season – but said he and Bouchy have years of experience in arena football and believe their venture will succeed.

“The National Arena League is committed to its fans and every game is going to be played,” Siegfried said.

“Our first year was a tumultuous year, but it was a successful year because we completed it.”

Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or

[email protected]

Twitter: GlennJordanPPH

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