Dragons Begin Quest to Defend American Football Crown

The Austrian Football League (AFL) starts on April 1st in the second season in a row as a league of ten. What started as a gamble last year “had a big hit,” said AFBÖ President Michael Eschlböck on Tuesday. In 2023, the Austrian share in the AFL will be even larger, as the Styrian Bears will replace the Znojmo Knights as the second Graz club alongside the Giants. “I’m looking forward to a really great and exciting season,” emphasized Eschlböck.

The Danube Dragons want to successfully defend their title. The team from Floridsdorf had already decided to change their name to Vienna Dragons after winning the championship, but then rowed back and stuck to the tried and tested, also because of the fan reactions. City rivals Vienna Vikings are looking for revenge after losing in the final last July. Ten rounds are played in the regular season, the last round before the play-off is on July 1st. The Austrian Bowl XXXVIII will take place again on July 29th in the NV-Arena in St. Pölten. Regardless of the discussion about the future of ORF-Sport+, the final will be broadcast on linear television by the Küniglberg station. “ORF-Sport+ cannot be turned off in a second,” explained Eschlböck. After a slight kink, they want to attract more than 5,000 spectators to the stadium again. In addition, the Football Association is planning a powerful step towards digitization. A new online platform has been announced as a one-stop shop for fans to find all AFL streams, news and stats. “The plan is that every game of the regular season will be streamed,” explained AFBÖ General Secretary Christoph Seyrl. In addition, there should be opportunities for interaction “with elements from the American NFL”.

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