ArenaBowl XXXI

ArenaBowl XXXI was the championship game of the 2018 Arena Football League season.[1] The game was broadcast on CBS Sports Network, AFLNow and Twitter. It featured the fourth-seeded Washington Valor and the second-seeded Baltimore Brigade at the Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore. It was the first ArenaBowl championship for both teams as they were expansion teams in the previous season. Both teams were owned by Ted Leonsis, giving him his second league championship in six weeks following his Washington Capitals team’s victory in the NHL‘s 2018 Stanley Cup Finals. The title sponsor for the game was Bud Light.

2018 Arena Football League championship game
ArenaBowl XXXI
Washington Valor Baltimore Brigade
69 55
1 2 3 4 Total
WSH 7 28 21 13 69
BAL 7 13 14 21 55
Date July 28, 2018
Arena Royal Farms Arena, Baltimore, Maryland
MVP Arvell Nelson, Washington
Attendance 8,183
Winning coach Benji McDowell
Losing coach Omarr Smith
TV in the United States
Network CBS Sports Network
Announcers Brent Stover, Sherdrick Bonner and Ari Wolfe

The paid attendance was 8,183, the smallest in ArenaBowl history.

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All four AFL teams qualified for the 2018 playoffs. The playoffs consisted of a two-game home-and-home semifinal series with the winners determined by aggregate score. With one week remaining in the 2018 regular season and a then three-way tie for first, the league announced the ArenaBowl would be hosted by the semifinal winner with the higher average attendance through the season instead of using any tiebreakers or home field advantage based on records.[2]

The #2 seeded Baltimore Brigade defeated the #3 seeded Philadelphia Soul by a combined score of 110–86 with Baltimore winning both games, 57–45 in the first and game two with 54–41. The fourth-seeded Washington Valor upset the top-seeded Albany Empire by a combined score of 103–97, where Albany won game one 57–56 in overtime and game two was won by Washington 47–40.

Once the semifinals were completed, contrary to the previous league statement on the host team, the higher-seeded Baltimore Brigade, not the higher-attended Washington Valor, hosted ArenaBowl XXXI at Royal Farms Arena. The Valor’s home field, Capital One Arena, had already scheduled summer renovations to begin at that time.[3] The Washington Valor upset the Baltimore Brigade by a final score of 69–55.[4]

  1. “ArenaBowl XXXI Matchup Set: Baltimore Brigade to Host Washington Valor”. AFL. July 21, 2018. Retrieved July 22, 2018.
  2. “Three Teams Enter the Final Weekend Tied for First”. AFL. July 2, 2018. Archived from the original on July 3, 2018. Retrieved July 23, 2018.
  3. Zielonka, Adam (July 22, 2018). “Washington Valor, Baltimore Brigade to meet in ArenaBowl XXXI”. The Washington Times. Retrieved July 23, 2018.
  4. Fominykh, Katherine (July 28, 2018). “Valor outrun, outsmart Brigade to claim first ArenaBowl title, 69-55”. The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved July 29, 2018.

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