Arena football teams are rough and tough; it’s no wonder the sport is nicknamed “Gridiron Football.” The Baltimore Brigade is no different. Charm City’s own arena team is comprised of big defensive players, quick running backs and even a few NFL prospects. The team was founded just a few short years ago, but fans are quickly catching onto the hype.
Royal Farms Arena is often overflowing with fans looking to catch a glimpse of top players, some of which were all-stars in college and others who have a chance to make it to the NFL. The Brigade is just another part of an up-and-coming sports-focused city. After catching an afternoon game at Camden Yards, make a trip over to see the Brigade battle it out. You won’t be disappointed!
History of the Baltimore Brigade
Arena football in Baltimore is not a new concept; the city has seen its fair share of come-and-go teams. The Baltimore Blackbirds played just one season in 2007, after which the Baltimore Mariners took over and played until 2014. The Baltimore Brigade was established in 2016 after Ted Leonsis, owner of famed teams like the Washington Wizards (NBA) and Washington Mystics (WNBA), was granted an expansion in the Arena Football League (AFL). Past teams were not part of this dominant conference.
The Brigade got its name from the area’s rich military history. It references the War of 1812 as well as the inspiration for the poem that would later become “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The team played its first season in 2017 and finished second-to-last in the league. However, the following season revealed a spark not seen before. In 2018, Royal Farms Arena hosted the team’s first-ever ArenaBowl after beating the Philadelphia Soul in a two-game aggregate playoff series. Although they lost the bowl game, it proved the team was a contender.
Baltimore Brigade Roster
The American arena league, known as the Arena Football League (AFL), is the highest conference in the sport and the division in which the Brigade play. The roster is extremely fluid; players sign short-term deals, play just one or two seasons and bounce around the league quite often. Likewise, the best players aim to get called up to professional football, known as the National Football League (NFL). Nevertheless, the players on the roster do all they can to bond with fans and make the season magical.
Fans are buzzing about the recent signing of Jerod Evans, a star in his college days at Virginia Tech. In the 2016 Belk Bowl, the young QB led Virginia Tech to overcome a school record 24-point deficit with 330 all-purpose yards. He went undrafted in the 2017 NFL draft but signed with teams like the Philadelphia Eagles and the Green Bay Packers.
Garrett will play his first AFL season with the Brigade in 2019, but the media is already buzzing with excitement. The wide receiver played for Tulsa, where he led all of Division I FBS in receiving yards for the 2015 season. He was signed by the Carolina Panthers as an undrafted free agent.
Baltimore Brigade Schedule
The AFL schedule begins in late April, when teams kick off their seasons. It typically runs through mid or late July and ends with a playoff series comprised of the regular season top finishers. The Brigade kicks off the season in a home game against defending champion Washington Valor in a rematch of last year’s ArenaBowl.
The Baltimore Brigade is expected to play six home games during the regular season. The playoffs begin shortly after, in which the top four teams qualify for postseason play. The championship game has a tentative date during the second week of August.
Royal Farms Arena
Other Baltimore sports teams once called this arena their home, including the Baltimore Bullets, Baltimore Blast and Baltimore Thunder. Now, it’s home to the Brigade in addition to other high-capacity events. Concerts, NBA preseason games, presidential rallies – RFA has seen it all. Some notable events include:
- Elvis Presley
- The Jimi Hendrix Experience
- WWE Monday Night Raw
- Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
- Miss USA Pageant
- The Rolling Stones
- S. Olympic Gymnastic Trials
Royal Farms Arena has a current seating capacity of 11,000. The venue can expand up to 14,000 to accommodate larger events. In fact, its record capacity of 14,679 occurred when Bruce Springsteen came to town in 2009.
Baltimore Brigade Tickets
Tickets to see arena football action in Baltimore are available from the team’s website. Fans can purchase single-game tickets to any home game of choice or opt to “join the battalion” and buy season tickets. Baltimore Brigade tickets for the entire season are known as memberships, which can cost as little as $10 per game, depending on where the seats are located. Season tickets include a free gift, invitations to exclusive events and merchandise discounts.