New FXFL to begin play in October

8/21/2014 - NFL

Plans are set for the Fall Experimental Football League (FXFL) to begin play in October, commissioner Brian Woods said Wednesday.

The four-team league will mimic NFL structure to prepare players for midseason tryouts with teams. Rosters will be set at 40, made up primarily of players who are released from NFL training camps this month and do not return on practice squads. They will be allocated to teams based in Brooklyn, New York; Boston; Omaha, Nebraska; and Miami. The reporting date is Sept. 24.

"We're full speed ahead right now," Woods said.

Each team will play the other twice.

"In our minds, we needed a presence in the New York metropolitan area," Woods said of placing a team in Coney Island.

"We did our due diligence with regards to venues that will accommodate us and partner with us. Having the Cyclones and (owner) Jeff Wilpon and a unique place to play, and their marketing team to help us ... it makes great sense."

Wilpon also is the chief operating officer of the Mets, and the Bolts expect to have some cross-promotions with both the major league and minor league baseball clubs.

NFL vice president Troy Vincent extolled the benefits earlier this year of a parallel developmental league. Woods said the FXFL is an independent entity now but has a long-term goal of aligning with the NFL.

An announcement on coaching hires is expected next week. The first set of games are scheduled for Oct. 8.

Woods, an attorney who played at Mississippi and coached as a graduate assistant at Iowa State, also considered Austin, Texas, and Portland, Oregon for franchises. Columbus, Ohio, and Springfield, Missouri, also expressed interest in having a franchise.

"Cost containment is our No. 1 priority," Woods said. "That's why the number of teams in our first year is four. The priority is to field four teams that will enable us to provide fans with more of an exceptional on-field football product."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.