Albany Firebirds (af2)
The Albany Firebirds were a professional arena football team of the AF2 based in Albany, New York. Albany was granted an expansion team in 2002 and began play as the Albany Conquest. The Firebirds play their home games at the Times Union Center. They are the second arena football team for Albany, as the city was granted an expansion team, the Albany Firebirds, in the Arena Football League in 1990. The team moved to Indianapolis, Indiana in 2000 and played as the Indiana Firebirds through 2004 before disbanding.
Played in Times Union Center
in Albany, New York
|Team colors||Black, royal blue, red, burnt orange, gold, white |
|Owner(s)||Capital District Sports, Inc.|
|Head coach||Tony Bowick|
|League championships (0)|
|Conference championships (0)|
|Division championships (2)|
|Playoff appearances (3)|
Then the city of Albany ventured into the world of arena football again, this time joining the Arena Football League 2 in 2002, creating a new franchise by the name the Albany Conquest. The team enjoyed little success and in 2009 for marketing purposes changed their name back to the Albany FireBirds before disbanding in 2010. They cited low attendance and poor fan support. Due to financial difficulties and low support, the Conquest were expected to fold following the 2008 season when a new investor could not be found. The franchise had notified the league in late September that it would not return, but following a meeting with the Albany Times Union and the operator of the Times Union Center, an agreement was reached that would allow the team to return for 2009. The team also acquired the rights to the old Firebirds name and logo in a rebranding effort to raise interest in the team, hoping to bring back fans from the days of the original Firebirds team.
On April 28, 2009, it was announced that the Albany Firebirds had offered former NFL quarterback Michael Vick a contract. Under the terms of this contract, Vick would be required to donate $100,000 to a local animal shelter.
The following day, the team retracted the announcement, claiming that it had been a publicity stunt created by the team's marketing department. The team's owner, Walter Robb, who knew nothing of the stunt, was cited as saying, "I’m a dog lover and I don’t want anything to do with (Vick)."
Almost became the "WarBirds"Edit
In a September 2016 article in Sports Illustrated, it was discovered that the Conquest/Firebirds almost became known as the Albany WarBirds. In 2001, 20-year-old college students Jason Klein and Casey White of branding firm Brandiose were chosen to come up with a new catchy name for a new franchise for Albany. The name that was chosen was the "WarBirds" and logos, helmet and uniform designs were created. They filed for a trademark on August 15 and set September 12 as the day to unveil the name, logo and uniforms. Then, the September 11th attacks occurred in New York City, The Pentagon and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. It was then determined that all parties involved agreed that the concept, which Klein described as a “weaponized airplane,” would have to go. The “Empire” was the frontrunner for the new team name but they ran into a trademark issue, so they eventually settled on “Conquest.”  However, in 2018, the current AFL franchise became known as the Albany Empire with no trademark issues.
|Albany Firebirds roster|
|Offensive /defensive linemen
||Wide receivers/defensive back
Rookies in italics
|2002||13||3||0||1st AC Northeast||Won AC Round 1 (Rochester 31–26)|
Lost AC Semifinal (Cape Fear 46–30)
|2003||13||3||0||1st AC Northeast||Lost AC Semifinal (Macon 59–47)|
|2004||6||10||0||3rd AC Northeast||–|
|2005||4||12||0||5th AC East||–|
|2006||5||11||0||6th AC East||–|
|2007||6||10||0||4th AC East||–|
|2008||5||11||0||3rd AC East||–|
|2009||7||9||0||2nd AC East||Lost AC 1st Round (Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 78–21)|
- "Arena football returns to Albany". www.oursportscentral.com. OurSports Central. June 20, 2001. Retrieved July 19, 2017.
- "Turnout to decide if 'Quest will end". Times Union. 2008-06-29. Retrieved 2008-10-04.[dead link]
- "Conquest staying, change to Firebirds". Times Union. 2008-10-04. Retrieved 2008-10-04.[dead link]
- "Firebirds Want to Sign Michael Vick". Times Union. 2009-04-28. Archived from the original on 1 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-28.
- The story behind the arena football logo that never saw the light of day due to 9/11, Dan Gartland, Sports Illustrated, September 12, 2016