10/06/2011 12:41 PM
CLEVELAND – The Cleveland Gladiators will begin the AFL’s 25th Anniversary Season in 2012 on the road Week 1 with a playoff rematch against the Georgia Force. The Gladiators fell to the Force in the opening round of the American Conference playoffs in 2011 and will look to return the favor in 2012. Cleveland will open the home schedule at Quicken Loans Arena on MONDAY, MARCH 26 versus the KANSAS CITY COMMAND.
“Our schedule is unique this season, with a mixture of Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday night games,” said General Manager Phil Tesar. “We are really excited to defend our East Division crown and can’t wait to hear our fans rock The Q beginning March 26th.”
The Gladiators schedule features all of the American Conference, East Division rivalry games that fans enjoyed last season, with home and away matchups against the Milwaukee Mustangs, Pittsburgh Power and Philadelphia Soul. Cleveland was crowned Champions of the East this past season and was 4-2 against their division foes.
Cleveland will look to repeat their success in the friendly confines of Quicken Loans Arena when they greet their 2012 home opponents. Aside from the three East opponents and Kansas City, the Gladiators will host Chicago, Jacksonville, New Orleans, Orlando and Tampa Bay. Cleveland was 7-2 at home in 2011, at one point winning six straight.
The Gladiators road schedule takes the team to The Sunshine State on three separate occasions for the second consecutive season – playing in Jacksonville, Orlando and Tampa. Cleveland rounds out its road schedule at Iowa and will make their first-ever trip to Utah to face the Blaze.
The Gladiators home schedule features two Friday games, three Saturday games, two Sunday games and two Monday night matchups. The Gladiators have two BYE Weeks – Week 2 and Week 9. The NFL Network will once again continue its “Arena Football Fridays” – which will showcase the Gladiators a league-high five times this season. Both games against Milwaukee, Cleveland’s Week 13 matchup at Iowa, their Week 14 home game against rival Pittsburgh and their Week 19 contest in Utah will all be featured nationally on the NFL Network.
2012 Schedule Glad Facts
- The Gladiators have two games against the defending ArenaBowl XXIV Champion Jacksonville Sharks. With their victory against Spokane in 2011, Cleveland is 1-0 all-time against reigning AFL champions.
- Cleveland will make three trips to Florida for the second consecutive season to face the Jacksonville Sharks, Orlando Predators and Tampa Bay Storm. The Gladiators were 1-2 in those contests last year.
- The Gladiators will face their first East Division opponent in Week 4 when they head to Philadelphia. A division foe does not come to Cleveland until their Week 12 matchup against the Soul.
- Cleveland has eight games against members of the American Conference South Division – Two against Jacksonville, Orlando and Tampa Bay and one versus Georgia and New Orleans. That is the largest number of games against a single division in a season in franchise history.
- The Gladiators’ Week 19 game at Utah will be their first-ever trip to Salt Lake City.
- Cleveland does not play Arizona, San Antonio, San Jose or Spokane in 2012.
The 2011 East Division Champion Cleveland Gladiators kick off the 2012 season on the road when they face the Georgia Force! The Gladiators’ home opener at The Q will be on March 26th when they host the Kansas City Command! DEPOSITS FOR 2012 SEASON TICKETS ARE BEING ACCEPTED NOW! For more information, visit www.clevelandgladiators.com or call 216.685.9000 today!
--2011 EAST DIVISION CHAMPIONS--