LOS GATOS, CA (Dec. 1, 2021) - Entering its tenth year of operating the world’s largest professional ultimate league, the American Ultimate Disc League (AUDL) announced an expansion to 25 teams competing in 2022 and related divisional alignments.
The AUDL will operate four divisions similar to its past construct: East, South, Central and West. Each division will hold playoff rounds to select the final four teams for its annual Championship Weekend. The three new expansion teams in Colorado, Oregon and Utah will all play in the West Division. The following teams will compete in 2022 in these four divisions:
- Chicago Union
- Detroit Mechanix
- Indianapolis AlleyCats
- Madison Radicals
- Minnesota Wind Chill
- Pittsburgh Thunderbirds
- Boston Glory
- DC Breeze
- New York Empire
- Montreal Royal
- Ottawa Outlaws
- Philadelphia Phoenix
- Toronto Rush
- Atlanta Hustle
- Austin Sol
- Dallas Roughnecks
- Raleigh Flyers
- Tampa Bay Cannons
- Colorado Summit*
- Los Angeles Aviators
- Salt Lake Shred*
- San Diego Growlers
- San Jose Spiders
- Seattle Cascades
“We are very proud to deliver a broad national sports footprint and are pleased to welcome back our Canadian teams to the mix in 2022,” said Steve Hall, CEO and Commissioner of the AUDL. “We expect that the AUDL will continue to grow its stature with our media and brand partners and will become more competitive as we introduce three strong expansion territories into our 2022 lineup.”
Teams in the South and Central Divisions will participate in a number of cross-divisional games next season so AUDL fans will be able to see new teams compete in their market and watch fresh rivalries develop. The league will continue to explore additional expansion teams in the South and Central Divisions to begin play in 2023.
“We are thrilled to see the business experience and community networks that our expansion owners bring to the already talented and diverse ownership group we have assembled,” continued Hall. “Our new owners have backgrounds as founders in technology and private equity firms as well as in local government and are all active in their ultimate communities. They share a common passion for the sport of ultimate and our vision to introduce it to new fans and communities every year.”
Colorado and Portland are nationally recognized as talented ultimate communities, with Salt Lake showing amazing growth through youth programs and competitive ultimate programs at the college level. All expansion markets have fast growing, young and dynamic demographics, excellent venue choices and a great sports heritage.
Sal Pace, the former Minority Leader of the Colorado State House, representing the Colorado Summit ownership group stated, “Colorado is one of the hottest ultimate communities in the world and is more than ready to compete in the AUDL. Our ownership team includes a diverse group of successful business people and government officials. My partners have won national and world ultimate championships and include one of the founders of a globally-recognized Denver women's team."
The Colorado Summit will play their home games in central Denver at the gorgeous Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium at the University of Denver.
Joel Caswell, who leads the new Portland ownership group, commented, “We are excited to bring professional ultimate to Oregon for the 2022 season. As a community, Portland embraces integrity, equity, and diversity as core values, and the culture of this sport embodies those same values. Developing a fan and player culture with that ideal alignment with existing community values is highly motivating for our organization as we work to prepare for our inaugural season.”
Salt Lake co-owner Bryce Merrill remarked, "The rapid growth of ultimate in Utah in the last decade is the result of incredible investment in the youth game at both the recreational and competitive levels. Bringing the game to these young players and fans will continue to be the focus of the time and investment from the Salt Lake Shred leadership team as we are able to build a championship brand on and off the field.”
Interested parties can inquire about ownership and expansion opportunities to firstname.lastname@example.org.
About AUDL and Professional Ultimate
The American Ultimate Disc League (AUDL) was founded in 2012 to introduce and showcase our talented athletes and precision play to a global audience. Ultimate is a fast, flowing and highly athletic low-contact sport that is played by advancing a disc down a field to score by passing into the end zone. Players cannot run with the disc, and play continues until one team scores.
With pinpoint passing and the unique flight of the disc, each game generates many exciting catches and defensive plays that frequently appear on ESPN’s SportsCenter Top 10, Fox Sports, Bleacher Report, and other leading sports shows.
The league will have 25 teams playing in the US and Canada in 2022. Each team competes in a 12-game regular season schedule, with top teams entering a playoff round and divisional winners advancing to a final four style Championship Weekend. Our audience enjoys our exciting, affordable, family-friendly events, devour our highlights and video features on social media and watch our full-length games on TV or streamed online on AUDL.tv. www.theaudl.com.