AAF tries to buck trend of failed pro football teams in Orlando

Florida legend Steve Spurrier to coach team

Steve Spurrier.

ORLANDO, Fla. – The Alliance of American Football is the latest fledgling league hoping to have success in Orlando.

The league announced earlier this month that Florida Gators legend Steve Spurrier will be the head coach of the Orlando-based team, which aims to play at Spectrum Stadium at UCF.

Seven other teams are expected to be announced in the coming months, and the new league is scheduled to debut Feb. 9, 2019. Games will air on CBS-TV, of which News 6 is an affiliate.

If history is any indication, however, the league may have trouble sticking around.

Here's a look at other professional football teams that have called Orlando home in the past.

Atlantic Coast Football League

  • Orlando Panthers (1970–71)

Continental Football League

  • Orlando Panthers (1965–1969)

United States Football League

  • Orlando Renegades (1985)

World League of American Football

  • Orlando Thunder (1991–1992)


  • Orlando Rage (2000)

United Football League

  • Florida Tuskers (2009–2010)

Charlie Ebersol and former NFL general manager and Pro Football Hall of Famer Bill Polianis, who co-founded the Alliance of American Football, hope their new league is different.

“When reviewing markets for The Alliance, we focused on cities who were looking for more football,” Ebersol said. “Orlando has already proven to be a passionate, loyal and engaged fan base that loves the game, yet they don’t have a professional football team to call their own.”

Ebersol also said that naming Spurrier head coach of the Orlando team is also a decision that he feels confident about.

“Well, we’re not just bringing professional football to town, we’re bringing the 'Head Ball Coach' with us -- a true Florida legend," Ebersol said.

Polian agreed and expanded on Spurrier's success throughout the years.

“Steve’s resume speaks for itself. He has one of the sharpest minds in football,” Polian said. “He will bring an exciting brand of football to the city of Orlando and we can’t wait to see what this team can accomplish under his guidance.”  

We are LIVE with Coach Steve Spurrier talking Orlando Alliance.

Posted by News 6 WKMG / ClickOrlando on Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Spurrier said the position offers him a unique opportunity to get back into the coaching game while spending time in a city he loves.

“The fact I can do this in Orlando makes it that much sweeter," Spurrier said. "I’m fired up and ready to go."

Watch News 6 for more.

About the Author:

Daniel started with WKMG-TV in 2000 and became the digital content manager in 2009. When he's not working on ClickOrlando.com, Daniel likes to head to the beach or find a sporting event nearby.