Former Cleveland Browns legend Bernie Kosar is again going to be part of professional football in the City of Cleveland, as part owner, president and CEO of an Arena Football League team which is relocating to Cleveland.
Tom Ferraro, a long-time friend of Kosar and team owner of the Las Vegas franchise, received approval from the AFL Board of Directors to relocate the team to Cleveland for the 2008 season.
"We are excited to be bringing the fast-paced action of the Arena Football League to the City of Cleveland" Ferraro stated in a press release. "We will have one of the best arenas in the league and Bernie is the perfect match to lead the charge."
Kosar, a Boardman, Ohio native, who played 11 seasons in the NFL with the Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys and Miami Dolphins has remained close to the City of Cleveland in the time following his retirement from the National football League.
"I have had the opportunity over the past several years to be involved in an unofficial capacity with the Browns and Mr. Lerner, in getting the team (Browns) back to Cleveland," Kosar said. "For the past couple years, I have been close to the Browns; Randy Lerner (Browns team owner) and I are good friends. We have been taking about ways to get me more involved with the team, and this is a start. I believe this (Arena team) is something great for the City of Cleveland and the football fans."
The Arena Football League will begin its 22nd season in March. The AFL is the second-longest running professional football league in U.S. history, trailing only the NFL. The AFL season runs from March through July, and the new Cleveland franchise will play in Quicken Loans Arena.
"I didn't get involved in this to just get involved. I am not looking for the PR and my name in the paper. This is an opportunity for me to get back into football in an exciting manner," Kosar continued. "We are in this to win, we have professional people lined up for the coaching and personnel aspects... we are going to do the same in the administrative end of the organization."
With an ongoing relationship with the NFL, both organizations are committed to growing the game of football both domestically and internationally. Four AFL teams are operated by NFL owners and the NFL also oversees the AFL officiating department.