The European League of Football (ELF) will start its second season on June 4th with the Istanbul Rams playing the Cologne Centurions. But even before kickoff, league boss Patrick Esume had a surprise in store. At a press conference on Friday in Hamburg, the 48-year-old announced that in 2023 the Milano Seamen from Milan, the Fehervar Enthroners from Szekesfehervar in Hungary and a team from Zürich in Switzerland will join the ELF. “It’s the best football league this side of the planet,” said Esume.
In addition to the team from Turkey, the Austrian teams Swarco Raiders (Innsbruck) and Vienna Vikings (Vienna) as well as Düsseldorf Rhein Fire ensure that the ELF will start with twelve instead of eight teams this year. In addition to Cologne, Hamburg with the Sea Devils, Frankfurt with the defending champion Galaxy, Berlin Thunder, Stuttgart Surge, the Leipzig Kings, the Panther Wroclaw from Poland and the Barcelona Dragons from Spain remain as old locations.
The final is scheduled for September 25 in Klagenfurt, Austria. ELF Managing Director Zeljko Karajica is counting on the 20,000 spectators mark being surpassed at the premiere finale last September in Düsseldorf. “All in all, we expect 250,000 to 300,000 spectators during the season,” said Karajica, who again formulated the long-term goal of 24 teams in the Europe-wide league.
The TV station ProSiebenMaxx will broadcast a game live every Sunday. Alexander Rösner, head of sports at RanSat1, was “completely satisfied” with the transmission values of the first season. On average, 100,000 spectators watched the games, which would correspond to a market share of 1.8 percent in the 14 to 49 age group. Rösner: “In the final, the peak was even half a million.”