FXFL Disbands Mahoning Valley Football Team

NILES, Ohio – Just over two months after it was announced that the Mahoning Valley Brawlers would be joining the Fall Experimental Football League, the team announced in a statement today that the team is folding “due to unfortunate and unforeseen circumstances at the league level.”

The team was scheduled to play its season opener Oct. 3 at Eastwood Field.

On Saturday, the league abruptly cancelled player tryouts without notifying any players. Some drove from as far as Atlanta, Ga. and Birmingham, Ala. to try out for the Brawlers and all paid an $85 fee, which will be refunded, according to league commissioner Brian Woods.

“We are extremely disappointed that the FXFL has made the decision to cease operation of the Mahoning Valley Brawlers,” said Jordan Taylor, vice president of HWS Baseball in a statement. “Our organization has worked extremely hard over the last six months to develop and promote this new and exciting venture and we were confident that the Brawlers would have been successful in this market based on the immediate support we received from sponsors and the community. It is unfortunate the league has run into recent financial and budgetary issues that has caused this course of action.”

The league, which now has three teams with the closing of the Valley’s franchise, signs undrafted rookies and young players cut from NFL rosters during training camp and assigns them to teams.

Last year, the league says, NFL teams showed new or renewed interest in a quarter of the FXFL’s players.

When the Mahoning Valley team was announced July 15, Woods pointed to Malcolm Butler, who made the game-sealing interception in Super Bowl XLIX in February, as the quality of player the league can produce. Butler was part of the league in 2014.

The Brawlers announced that anyone who purchased tickets can get a refund at the Eastwood Field front office beginning at 10 a.m. Oct. 1.

Pictured: Logo displayed at news conference that announced the new team.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.