Columbus Lions Benched as National Arena League Cancels Season

THE LIONS WERE ENTERING THEIR 14TH SEASON

The Columbus Lions and Head Coach Jason Gibson were geared up to kickoff their fourteenth season of arena football, but the coronavirus not only postponed but ended their season. The National Arena League announced on Friday, June 12 that the season was over.

The Lions never even had the opportunity to put on pads for training camp this season. Their first game was originally scheduled at the Columbus Civic Center on Friday, April 17 against the Jacksonville Sharks.

Message from the National Arena League:

Over the course of the past few months, we have been faced with unprecedented circumstances that have caused multiple delays to the start of the 2020 season. Although we have worked hard to save the current season, it is with deep regret that we are announcing the cancellation of the 2020 National Arena League season. The health and safety of our fans, players and staff is of the utmost importance, and the lack of arena availability along with social distancing restrictions created many obstacles to overcome.

Multiple scenarios were analyzed including playing all games in one location and the use of strict social distancing strategies. The consensus among the board members was that playing without our fans was not an option. “The owners tried everything they could to make this work,” said Commissioner Chris Siegfried. “It’s difficult to produce a schedule, get players in town, promote the games and sell tickets when we still don’t have confirmed playing dates or definitive answers regarding our fans being allowed in the arenas.”

We are grateful to our fans, sponsors, players and staff members for their support throughout this process. We can’t wait to kick off the 2021 season next April in front of the greatest arena football fans in the world. There will be many exciting announcements that we will share over the next couple of months.

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