Organizers of the National Arena League have agreed in principle to a three-year lease at Cross Insurance Arena for an indoor football team that will begin play in Portland in April.

A press conference has been scheduled for Tuesday afternoon at the arena with Chris Siegfried, commissioner of the NAL, and Jeff Bouchy, the league’s expansion committee chair.

“It’s going to be a great partnership,” Bouchy said by phone Friday afternoon. “Cross bent over backwards for us.”

Matt Herpich, general manager of the arena, said the lease is for three years, with a two-year, mutually agreeable extension.

“I think they have a good business plan,” said Herpich, who said he plans to formally sign the lease on Tuesday. “If the community can buy in, I think it’s a plan for the next 20 years.”

Portland would be one of at least seven franchises scheduled to play in the NAL next year. The others include three holdovers from the 2017 season – the Jacksonville (Florida) Sharks, Columbus (Georgia) Lions and Lehigh Valley (Pennsylvania) Steelhawks – along with expansion franchises in Trenton, New Jersey (Sharks), Worcester, Massachusetts (Pirates), and Greensboro, North Carolina. Bouchy said he is still waiting to hear whether the NAL franchise in Mexico (the Monterrey Steel) will be able to recover from earthquake damage in time to play in 2018.

“We have a schedule pretty much done,” Bouchy said. “There’s just a couple of things that require fine-tuning.”

In November, Bouchy said the team would be owned by National Sports Ventures, a company incorporated in Georgia. A search of the United States Patent and Trademark Office website revealed applications filed last month by National Sports Ventures of Atlanta for Maine Mammoths 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 declined to confirm that the Portland team would be called the Maine Mammoths.

“I guess you’ll have to wait until Tuesday,” he said.

Bouchy said the Portland team has a head coach and a quarterback, though he declined to name them. Both are scheduled to attend Tuesday’s press conference, along with Will Riley, the team president, Mitch Berkowitz, chair of the arena’s board of trustees, and Quincy Hentzel, CEO of the Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or:

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