Multiple media sources, including Fox News and the Shady Sports Network, have announced that former NFL wide receiver Antonio Brown has become a part-owner of the Albany Empire of the National Arena League (NAL). Brown’s father, “Touchdown” Eddie Brown, will also be joining the Empire as the Vice President of Football Operations and will be involved in the team’s day-to-day operations. Antonio Brown joins an ownership group led by majority owner Mike Kwarta.
This announcement marks Eddie Brown’s return to indoor football after a successful playing career in the Arena Football League while playing for the Albany Firebirds. Eddie Brown officially achieved AFL GOAT status as the greatest football player in the history of the AFL in 2006 when the league its list of Top 20 players in Arena Football history. While playing in the Arena Football League, he helped lead the Albany Firebirds to an Arena Bowl victory.
Recently, the Empire has been one of the most successful franchises in the world of indoor football. In 2019, the Empire was an Arena Bowl championship during the last season of the AFL. The Empire then joined the NAL, winning back-to-back titles during the 2021 and 2022 seasons. Antonio Brown stated that joining the Empire as a part-owner was an easy decision, “I’m just excited to be here and bring the Albany Empire a three-peat and see the players in the community live out their dreams.”
Brown’s interest in joining the NAL franchise in Albany was related to his time at arena games, watching his father, Eddie Brown, play for the Firebirds. For Eddie Brown, his vice president position brings him back to the world of indoor football. Albany Empire team president Matt Woods mentioned, “the future of the Albany Empire is bright and couldn’t be happier with the direction that we’re going.” The Empire starts its 2023 NAL season on April 16th, playing the Orlando Predators.
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