RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The American Ultimate Disc League tried to stay as positive as possible, hoping to see its season come together at some point. There was talk of shortening the season or having teams play in small pods.
In the end, the entire season was scrapped.
“I think there were just too many factors that made it dangerous at this time to participate in,” said Flyer owner Mike DeNardis.
For a relatively new league, not playing can be lethal to its health. But DeNardis feels the AUDL will not only survive but eventually thrive.
The Raleigh Flyers organization is one of the league’s most stable franchises. And there are other programs equally as strong which bodes well for the league’s future.
“Yeh, right now it’s still in its infancy so most owners are still motivated to continue and press on,” DeNardis said. “We just need to continue to take steps. It gives us a longer offseason to prepare for next season and refine the product and make it better.”
The 2020 season would have seen the Flyers making new friends. Through the years they had built fierce rivalries with teams from Texas, especially the Dallas Roughnecks. League realignment, though, would have helped cultivate new rivalries.
“We were going to play some new East Coast teams like Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and DC, some interesting north Atlantic teams instead of the traditional Texas teams,” explained DeNardis. “We’d still keep some of the teams in our division and that would have been a really interesting dynamic and fun for our fans and players but unfortunately we’re going to have to wait at least a year for that.”
The Flyers will also have to wait for the chance to get into their new home. For the first time in the team’s five year existence, the team was set to play all of its home games at one location.
“We were going to play all of our games at Durham County Stadium,” said DeNardis. “We had a new home and it felt like all the pieces were coming together than it all hits. It’s just one of those things where we feel like that’s still going to happen next year.”
With one of the most loyal fan bases in the league, a year away just might make that bond even stronger.