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Gladiators plan to call Tingley home in maiden season

It appears the metro area will be home to an indoor pro football team this spring after all.

Only days after the Rio Rancho-based New Mexico Stars of the Champions Indoor Football league opted to sit out this season and restructure for 2016, another franchise has sprung up and plans to call Albuquerque home.

The team, to be called the Duke City Gladiators, will play its games at Tingley Coliseum, according to Matt Caward, who is co-owner of the squad and will also serve as the new franchise’s general manager. In 2012-13, he was a backup QB for the Stars and in 2014 was an assistant coach.

Caward said a news conference has been scheduled for 1 p.m. today to reveal other details about the team, including the naming of a head coach.

Still to be determined will be which league the Gladiators will join at this late date. Indoor leagues typically open play in late February or some time in March.

“We are negotiating with the X-League and also looking at other leagues,” Caward said.

The X-League, which consists of 10 teams, mostly in the southeastern U.S., plays a 10-game schedule. The league opener is March 28. Making this seem a bit of a stretch for the Gladiators, literally and figuratively, is that the closest franchises to Albuquerque are located in east Texas and St. Louis.

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