NILES, Ohio (WKBN) – The team was in place; there was a nickname, a coach, cheerleading tryouts were even held. The first game was scheduled for Saturday, October 3 at Eastwood Field in Niles.
Then all off a sudden Monday, the word was that the league in which the Mahoning Valley Brawlers were to play had canceled the team’s season.
After canceling the tryout scheduled for Sunday, the Fall Experimental Football League, or FXFL, decided to pull out of the Mahoning Valley.
In a statement released to First News, commissioner Brian Woods said the decision was based purely on economics and made in the best interest of the league as a whole.
Scrappers General Manager Jordan Taylor said he’s extremely disappointed.
“I wish we would have been more informed on that level,” Taylor said. “I mean, we have calls with them and, you know, there was really no indication that things weren’t moving forward.”
Taylor also said that his team had worked hard to promote the team and thought that the team would be successful.
All purchased tickets will be refunded at the Mahoning Valley Scrappers front office beginning Thursday, October 1 at 10 a.m. Any Brawlers merchandise purchased can be exchanged for Scrappers gear.
For hopeful players who made the trek to Ohio just for the opportunity to try out for the team, it’s devastating.
“To come so far and, you know, be disappointed it’s, it’s a little devastating,” Fred Barnes of Atlanta said. “But you know, you have to keep pushing, to continue to push forward.”
The decision is also affecting local businesses like the Residence Inn in Niles, which had eight hotel rooms and their meeting space blocked out for sixty days to accommodate the coaching staff.
“When we finally decided to cancel them, we did end up losing, probably that week, three or four thousand dollars of direct business and then displaced business during the course of that sixty days that we had them reserved,” Residence Inn Director of Sales Michelle Janci said.
Now Taylor is reaching out to corporate sponsors and ticket holders to refund them.