Welcome back, Rhein Fire! Düsseldorf will be the eleventh location of the European League of Football and will send a team into the race from the 2022 season. League boss Zeljko Karajica and Commissioner Patrick Esume announced the agreement in advance of the first Championship Game between Frankfurt Galaxy and the Hamburg Sea Devils on Sunday (2.45 p.m.).
“Düsseldorf is a city with a great football tradition; people love the mix of top sport and spectacle. That’s why we decided to hold our bowl in the MERKUR SPIEL-Arena. The location played a role in our planning right from the start and we are very happy that Rhein Fire will compete in the European League of Football from 2022.”Zeljko Karajica
For league commissioner Patrick Esume, the name Rhein Fire brings back fond memories of his career as a coach in NFL Europe at Frankfurt Galaxy and the Hamburg Sea Devils:
“From the late 1990s to the early 2000s, Düsseldorf was one of the best that European football had to offer. We fought a few battles there. The atmosphere in the stadium was gigantic, every game a happening. So I can’t wait to see the new team in our European League of Football.“Patrick Esume
From 1994 until its dissolution in 2007, Düsseldorf Rhein Fire played in the NFL Europe, won the World Bowl twice, and made it to the finals three more times. In addition to Frankfurt, the largest fan community gathered behind the franchise from the North Rhine-Westphalian state capital. The limit of 30,000 viewers was broken four times in a row.
After the Berlin Thunder, Frankfurt Galaxy, the Sea Devils from Hamburg, the Cologne Centurions, and the Dragons from the Spanish metropolis of Barcelona, Rhein Fire is the sixth team known from NFL Europe to return to the international stage in the European League of Football. In the premiere season, the field of participants was completed by Stuttgart Surge, the Leipzig Kings, and the Polish representative Panthers Wroclaw. The Vienna Vikings and the Raiders Tirol from Austria were announced as further new franchises.
“The league will grow by the start of the 2022 season, other teams will follow, that’s for sure. Düsseldorf Rhein Fire is number nine, but there will be at least twelve franchises, maybe even more. We are in promising talks and can announce the news as soon as possible.”
Commissioner Patrick Esume, who, together with CEO Karajica, will officially present the new franchises in the half-time show of the Championship Game.