ALBANY — The Empire State. The Albany Empire. How fitting it is as a name for the Albany’s new arena football team, announced in a ceremony on Tuesday night at The Palace Theater in Albany.
The team, partly owned by former NFL quarterback Ron Jaworski said the team name comes from the fact that they are “building an empire” in Albany, and the name came from a vote that contained four final possibilities. “Empire” won by a landslide at 44% of a total of over 11,500 votes. “Phoenix” came in second with 21% of the vote, “Fire” got 20% and “Machine” came in last with 15% of the final tally.
“The fact that the name Empire won the contest running away gives us confidence that we have named the team in a manner consistent with the personality, history and status of our city,” owner George Hearst said in an official statement.
“This is a historic moment for the city of Albany,” Jaworski said in the same statement. “We will make this city be proud of the Empire that the organization, fans and partners are going to build together.”
The logo has the team’s colors, a red-orange mix with dark navy blue and gray accents. It also contains an Empire battle mask and shield, and a football. It was designed by The Martin Group, which is based in the Capital Region.
“Nobody is more excited than me to have a name that will be consistent with the brand of football that we plan to put on the field,” Empire head coach Rob Keefe said. “We will look tough and play tough, there is no question about that.”
Uniforms, mascot, dance team name and other team elements are expected to be announced at a later date, but a home opener was announced. It will be at the Times Union Center on Saturday, April 14, as the Empire face the AFL-defending champions Philadelphia Soul. The game will start at 7 p.m. as a kickoff for the first season that is being dubbed with the motto, “Building an Empire.”