Arena Football League is becoming an Atlantic City resident.
Former Eagles quarterback Ron Jaworski led the charge as the league officially announced its news, although not by name.
Out of about 1,750 submissions for a team name, it came down to the top five of Blackjacks, Gamblers, High Rollers, Jackpot and Royals. But which moniker won will come next month.
They all speak to the gambling side of things, a perk for the league.
“We think sports betting and arena football is a match made in heaven,” Commissioner Randall Boe said.
And the natural tourist nature of the city will be played up when other teams visit, said Trifecta Sports & Entertainment President George Manias.
“It’s tremendous,” he said.
“I love the area,” said Coach Ron James. “I think there’s a progressive vibe about it. You can feel the heartbeat of the city.”
Like the name, the roster isn’t yet official either, he said.
But whoever the players are, they will live and participate in the community.
The players’ contracts included requiring them to sign autographs after every game.
And the dance team that will share the same name will act as ambassadors.
Atlantic County native Nicole Stephens, who will be choreographer and coach, said she is looking forward to her work.
Her first professional job at 18 was as a dancer for the indoor football team the Atlantic City Card Sharks.
She also danced for the Philadelphia 76ers and has performed in casino shows.
“I always come back to Atlantic City,” she said.
An open call for dancers is set for March 16. Those auditioning must be at least 18 and have graduated from high school, Stephens said.
A junior team will include younger dancers, who will be taught by the professionals and get to perform a a few games, she said. The exact age range for them has not yet been determined.
The fast-paced, high-scoring games should play well in the area, Jaworski predicted.
It will be fun, said Coach James, adding: “I spell fun W-I-N.”
Jaworski promised a great rivalry with his Philadelphia Soul, where Atlantic City will play its inaugural game April 27.
The home opener in Atlantic City is set for May 4, with hopes of selling out the 8,000-seat arena.
Tickets will start at $10.
Season tickets and other packages are available.
For more information, go to www.atlanticcityafl.com or call 609-783-9494