The Liga de Futbol Americano Professional (LFA), Mexico’s only professional American football league, kicks off its third season this weekend after a hugely successful second year in 2017.
The league’s expansion to six teams in 2017 proved to be a success.
The six teams – the Mexicas, Condors, Mayas and Raptors, Dinos and Fundidores – open their 2018 season Friday, February 16 with the Dinos from Saltillo, Coahuila traveling to Monterrey to face the Fundidores.
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. The Condors have signed Euro veteran Preston Bailey.
Each team will play a seven game regular season which ends April 8. Both semifinals are scheduled for April 14/15 and the championship final will be held April 22 at Estadio Azul in Mexico City which has a capacity of 36,000.
Watch highlights from the game.
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.
“This year we are trying to consolídate the League. Five of the six teams have owners now and we are working on regular TV coverage with three different stations now covering us.”
Most games were played in front of near capacity crowds in the first two seasons and organizers are confident this will continue. The league has attracted a number of major sponsors including Under Armour, Dicass, UVM (Rehab), Electrolit (beverage), Indian Motorcycles, Banco Azteca (Bank) and Grupo sinergia (software).
“With the growth of our league and the sport, we can foresee adding more sponsors.”