São Paulo launches new season of American football in Brazil
The São Paulo Football League is getting ready to launch its 2017 spring season and has expanded to 10 teams.
Following a hugely successful inaugural season last year, the league, based in the state of São Paulo, has added three new teams, the Mooca Destroyers, Ocelotes Futebol Americano and Diadema Under Diamond who will join the defending champion Lusa Lions, the Corinthians Steamrollers, Santos Tsunami, Ponte Preta Gorillas, Sao Caetano Blue Birds, Sao Paulo Storm and Palmeiras Locomotives. The Botafogo Challengers dropped out of the league this year.
The teams will play in two divisions of five teams each.
State-wide leagues unique
The state-wide leagues are unique to Brazil. As American football continues to grow in this South American country, it develops its own unique culture that in many ways is similar to other American football cultures around the globe, but it also has its special characteristics.
One of these unique characteristics is organized statewide competitions that take place in the first half of the football calendar year in Brazil. Given the size of the country (fifth largest country in the world), competing nationally brings challenges to football teams, as it can be expensive to fly across the country with 40+ players.
As football has developed in Brazil, a page out of statewide soccer competitions was taken and statewide football competitions were created to ensure that all teams get an opportunity to play in a competitive environment, allowing teams to claim the title of being the best in their respective states.
Fans the focus in new São Paulo Football League
The state of São Paulo, which is host to many of the teams playing in the first and second division of national tournaments in the second part of the year, introduced a new league last year, the São Paulo Football League.
In its first year, the SPFL, which had eight teams, was a hit, with the focus of competition being the fans. Focused on providing entertainment for its fans, the São Paulo Football league games were played in large soccer stadiums and were events that contained activities for families. Many prizes were awarded, many game day activities were planned and the football level was very competitive.
For its second year, the SPFL plans on continuing to build on its foundation of bringing the best of São Paulo football to its public. The league increased the number of participating teams from 8 to 10 with the newcomers Mooca Destroyers, Ocelotes Futebol Americano and Diadema Under Diamond.
The league, which will feature doubleheader games every other weekend, will have its regular season start on March 12, lasting 10 weeks with the final regular season games being on June 11th. The wild card weekend will take place on June 25th. Teams that finish first on each group are automatically through to the semi-finals while second and third places will battle for a spot in the semifinals. The Sao Paulo Football League has also secured a major sponsor, Landmark, which will have the naming rights for the tournament in 2017.
Another entertaining and competitive year is in store for the São Paulo Football League and its fans and you can obtain more information by visiting www.spflbrasil.com or following the league on Facebook.