The new team will join the East Division in 2020.
December 4, 2019 by Charlie Eisenhood in News with 0 comments
For the first time since 2016, the American Ultimate Disc League is expanding — the 2020 season will feature a new franchise in Boston.
For years, the AUDL has been seeking to add a team to one of the sport’s most historically dominant cities. “We’ve had a lot of interest in Boston over the last five years, but I think the hardest thing was putting together a team that we felt could be successful,” said AUDL Marketing Manager and Madison Radicals owner Tim DeByl.
“This group should be one of the top franchises right away,” he added. “[They have] good financial backing and good people on the ground to help make everything work in Boston.”
Long-time ultimate players Peter Collery and Robert Ruocco bought the franchise. “We are thrilled to help bring championship caliber professional ultimate to Boston,” Collery said in a statement. “Given our vision, and the deep pool of talent in the area, we have reason to believe that we can compete for a title in year one.”
Indeed, Boston looks to be a natural fit — given its high density of colleges, New England is host to a large ultimate community that currently has no AUDL representation. The Rhode Island Rampage closed down after just one season in 2012, though Major League Ultimate’s Boston Whitecaps were one of the league’s more successful teams before the organization shut down at the end of 2016.
“Tons of great players. Boston is a sports town,” said DeByl. “There’s some nice stadiums we’ve looked at already. A location in the center of the new East. A long history of having good ultimate teams and a great ultimate culture and community. We’ve always rated it as a great location to have a franchise.”
Mat Little, a fixture of Boston men’s ultimate and former semi-pro champion with the Whitecaps, will serve as General Manager, and Jay Talerman will be the Director of Operations.
“Everyone was just waiting for the AUDL to expand to Boston, and it’s finally here,” said Little, who said he hopes that the Boston community can come together to build a championship-caliber team.
The new franchise has been officially a part of the league for less than two weeks and still doesn’t have a team name. It’s been a whirlwind so far, said Little, who added that AUDL leadership including commissioner Steve Hall have been hugely supportive in getting the new team up and running.
After a torrid expansion pace from 2013-2016, the AUDL has dropped teams and consolidated ownership in recent seasons. DeByl said that the pressure of competing with Major League Ultimate for a national footprint is gone. “Our vetting process has gotten to the point that we only want to bring a team in if we’re excited to bring a team in,” he said.
The league is still looking to expand into Portland, OR, and Kansas City, MO, but has yet to solidify satisfactory leadership in those cities.