Arena Football Expands to China — India and Vietnam Could Be Next

Compared to viewership in the U.S. for local home teams, that’s fairly high. According to data from the AFL, an average indoor home game garners about 9,000 viewers on ESPN, and about 8,000 viewers on CBSSN. Since 2013, the company reported that the average weekly attendance of games has gone up slightly from 7,924 attendees to 8,974. On the other hand, NFL broadcasting on ESPN averages millions of viewers every year.

Niu said the idea for expansion came partly from logistics, and partly from Judge’s pre-existing connections in China. His namesake’s, The Judge Group, is a technology services firm based in New York.

“Infrastructure throughout China and its major cities were only used for basketball and gymnastics,” he said. “There was an opportunity there for us to launch indoor football, and part of that program was to develop education and training programs.”

The goal, Niu added, is to have leagues developed in many countries outside the U.S. Eventually, those nations will be able to compete in the World Cup of indoor American football.


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Emily is a journalist and intern for the @DJNF with @thestreet. Formerly @TheTempleNews EIC, @USATODAY. @SABEW @WeAreSFJ