The Blaze, new AFL are back in Utah

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WEST VALLEY CITY -- Arena football is back in Utah. Friday, the Utah Blaze open up the season at home with Spokane after a very long off-season.

For three years, the Blaze and arena football were a big hit.

Under the ownership of the Garff family, the Blaze won a lot of games, had great attendance, and the franchise flourished. Unfortunately, the league did not.

In 2009, the Arena Football League ceased operations. After filing for bankruptcy, a new Arena Football League purchased the AFL's assets, including its history and team names.

"I think that now the owners have gotten the model and stuff, that things can work for them long term, and hopefully have a continued presence here in this league," says Blaze Head Coach Ernesto Purnsley.

"It's still arena football, the top level there is in the country, and it's exciting," says Blaze wide receiver Aaron Boone.

Boone is a Utah Native. In returning to the Blaze, he hopes to lead this young roster to a winning season.

"I've been playing pro football for eight years now, and it's -- last year was a long, long off-season," Boone says. "I'm excited to be back, excited to be back here in Utah. We have great fans; and to be a hometown guy too, it's even that much more special."

The Blaze kick off the season Friday night at 7:00 in the E-Center, when they host the Spokane Shock.


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Jeremiah Jensen


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