Indoor professional football is headed to the new Buford City Arena.
The 5,500-seat facility will be home to the Atlanta Havoc, an expansion franchise in the American Arena League, which has teams spanning the East Coast from Florida to Vermont. The franchise is the second in the AAL in the state, joining the Macon-based Georgia Doom.
An official press conference announcing the team’s arrival is planned for Oct. 12.
“I am very excited to be the person to bring professional arena football to the area,” Havoc owner Tim Viens, a part-time driver on the NASCAR Camping World Series and Xfinity Series, said in a team release. “The Buford (and) Atlanta area has a strong passion for sports that I believe will carry over to the Havoc.”
The new franchise’s head coach is Boo Mitchell, a longtime Gwinnett-area coach who currently works with North Gwinnett High’s wide receivers. His defensive coordinator is Willie Gary, who has past indoor coaching experience with the former Georgia Force.
Viens also runs the Vermont Bucks indoor franchise, which won the 2017 Can-Am Indoor Football League title, in his home state. The former college and pro kicker lives with his wife Cherie in Daytona Beach, where he played indoor football for four years, but the couple hope to find a second residence in the Buford area.
“The Buford (and) Atlanta area is a great location for our league to be expanding to,” AAL president Jack Bowman said. “It fits well into our footprint of teams. Tim brings a wealth of knowledge in professional sports and business leadership and is an ideal fit for our league.”
Viens and the Havoc plan tailgating activities that begin three hours before kickoff with outdoor activities, including inflatables for children, climbing walls and face painting. Other pre-game festivities will include a beer garden and live music.
Ticket prices are $8 for children 17-and-under and $15 for adults. The Havoc season begins March 17 with the home opener and the regular season runs through the home finale on June 2.
More ticket information and details on the team are available at www.atlantahavoc.com.
The Havoc’s early player signings are former Florida A&M and Jacksonville Sharks wide receiver/defensive back James Cash, former Georgia State and Columbus Lions linebacker Derrick Cannon, former St. Louis Rams/CFL defensive back Chris Smith, former Georgia State and Georgia Force wide receiver Corey Alberty, former Samford/Arizona State quarterback Michael Eubanks and former Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Martell Moore.
An open tryout for potential players will be held Oct. 14 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Victory Impact Performance in Buford. The cost is $75 (cash only on day of tryout) and those interested can email to email@example.com.