The Chinese Arena Football League, kicks off Saturday, October 1st at the beginning of their National Holiday, in the nation’s first professional gridiron league in Beijing.
The new league consists of six teams from Beijing, Dalian, Guangzhou, Qingdao, Shanghai, and Shenzhen. Each team consists of 20 players, half Chinese and half American.
Arena football is high-scoring, and high-action there’s an enormous amount of curiosity among prospective fans...the onlookers wondering what the new football is all about.
China has for the most part been spectators and not the participants. Team sports have never been a priority in China. The Chinese government hopes to change this. Sports in general are becoming more important and more entertaining in China, China’s government has promised to make the sports industry a key economic driver, projecting over 500% growth by eliminating regulations that previously held back the sports industry. This should encourage private investors to build their own facilities, and create their own teams. With all of the related products and services, there is tremendous potential here.
China has a profound passion for basketball and soccer, and American football is only a curiosity at this point. American style football will require a serious commitment to develop a fan base.
The government has finally realized that organized sports are another way to nurture leadership and social skills among young Chinese, and not really a cultural threat. The Chinese government sees American Football as another way to turn Chinese boys into men.
I believe that the Arena style of Football can flourish in China, but the NFL style has no chance. The facilities and space that NFL style football would require is what the Chinese would not sacrifice for merely sporting activities/events.
At present there are an estimated 75 amateur teams that are developing more than 3,000 players.
The new Chinese League CAFL, or Chinese Arena Football League is not at this time affiliated with the American Football League of China.
A more thorough, detailed report can be found with the link below. Check it out.
Here's wishing them all success