Liga de Futbol Americano Professional Kicks Off 2nd Season In Mexico

The Liga de Futbol Americano Professional (LFA), Mexico’s only professional American football league, kicks off its second season this weekend after a hugely successful first year in 2016.

The LFA has expanded to six teams for 2017.

Based mostly in Mexico City, the six team league is the brainchild of Juan Carlos Vazquez and Edgar Zapata, and so far has featured mostly Mexican players but imports are finding their way onto rosters. Former Kansas Jayhawk Billy Owens is playing for the Eagles.

Each team will play a seven game regular season which ends April 9. Both semifinals are scheduled for April 23 and the championship final will be held April 30 at the Jesus “Palillo” Martinez Stadium in Mexico City which has a capacity of 5,000.

The Mayas won the inaugural championship in 2016 after beating the Raptors in the final 29-13. 

Juan Carlos Vazquez, a Fox Sports TV commentator and Zapata, who coaches one of the teams, along with their seven partners, began this journey seven years ago and have plans to expand the league to eight teams by 2020. Vazquez feels that Mexico could ultimately support a 10 team league but eight would be more like the situation of the Canadian Football League with its nine teams.

Vazquez:

“We felt like this was missing and the success of 2016 proved we were right. Football is a very popular sport in Mexico and the college game attracts thousands of spectators. So the LFA was a natural development.”

Most games were played in front of near capacity crowds in the first season and organizers are confident this will continue. The league has attracted a number of major sponsors including Under Armour, Dicass (major retail chain), Imagenus (medical lab), Minno (technology distributor), Sports Clinic (sports medical hospital), and Zona Fitness, (gyms). However, they still welcome more as the league continues to gain popularity.

“With the growth of our league and the sport, we can foresee adding more sponsors.”

The LFA has the blessing of the Mayor of Mexico City, Miguel Angel Mancera, as most of the games will be played in Mexico’s capital city.

That political support is understandable. According to statistics, the LFA will create 300 direct jobs and four thousand indirect, “with which not only boosts the economy of the City of Mexico but also broad sectors of the capital. “

Miguel Angel Mancera:

“It is important to note that the players on these six teams will have a salary and social security, along with medical insurance which is so important for a sport like football.”

The six teams – the Eagles, Condors, Mayas and Raptors along with newcomers the Dinos and Fundidores – open their 2017 season Saturday.

With a general manager, six man coaching staffs and full medical and training personnel, the league is clearly serious. All the games were streamed live in 2016 and this will continue in 2017 according to Vazquez.

Roger Kelly
Roger Kelly is an editor and a writer for AFI. A former PR Director the B.C. Lions of the Canadian Football League for 7 years, he now lives in Sweden writing about and scouting American Football throughout the world.
Skip to toolbar