Some local money is making moves to bring indoor football to China. According to The China Post, Philadelphia Soul co-owner Marty Judge — though his Beijing-based company, Ganlan Media International — is partnering with the Chinese Rugby Football Association to create the China American Football League (CAFL). Judge is also partnering with Ron Jaworski and Dick Vermeil. Here’s the plan:
The China American Football League (CAFL) will kick-off its first season in 2015, with six to eight teams in two conferences. The teams will be based in China’s major cities. The league with follow the arena-style format of the game, played indoors which the CRFA experts think best suits the Chinese fan base due to its faster pace, higher scoring and “close-to-the-fans” entertainment, which is similar to the highly successful Chinese Basketball Association (CBA). However, this might be because China has few large outdoor stadiums that are typical to traditional American football.
You want a franchise? That’ll be $10 million. The teams will consist of 20-man rosters, which will include 12 Chinese players and be rounded out by AFL players. Arena Football coaches and referees will also participate in the league, which will start each year in the fall, after the AFL season. Judge told the Post, “I strongly believe American football will meet the insatiable sports demand from the Chinese growing consumer base, especially among the younger people … It is possible that someday the CAFL could be bigger in China than the NFL is here.” Sure, considering the population size in China that is possible, but how about you start with just hoping the Chinese version of the AFL is more popular than its American counterpart.