08/09/2012 11:09 PM
NEW ORLEANS – It was a night of lavish attire and notable names as the Arena Football League celebrated the close of their 25th season. The Silver Anniversary Gala was a festivity with the vibrant ambiance of the Big Easy at the Sheraton New Orleans hotel on the eve of AVITAE Arena Bowl XXV.
As the event opened, players, coaches and other invitees were serenaded by a live 6-man big band playing music of the Bayou. As they walked in, each guest received colorful beads to flaunt during an hour-long cocktail party.
Shortly after dinner, NFL Network personalities Ari Wolfe and Anthony Herron commenced the 2012 Awards Ceremony. And the Utah Blaze cleaned up, taking home five awards. Quarterback Tommy Grady was named the National Guard MVP of the Year and Russell Offensive Player of the Year.
AFL Commissioner Jerry B. Kurz addressed the crowd and revealed that a member of the Philadelphia Soul’s ownership group is spearheading the League’s effort to bring the game overseas. Kurz also announced they will be taking the game to China.
AFL Founder Jim Foster was in attendance and had words for the crowd. Shortly after, Soul owner and ESPN personality Ron Jaworski delivered a powerful speech about the State of Professional Football.
Keynote speaker Glen Berteau spoke about overcoming obstacles as the event came to a close.
The AFL culminates its 25th season on on Friday with AVITAE ArenaBowl XXV on NFL Network at 10:30 pm ET.