ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) – The Orlando Predators will be featured on NFL Network’s “Arena Football Friday” four times in 2012 as the Arena Football League announced its schedule for the upcoming season on Thursday.
The Predators host the defending ArenaBowl champion Jacksonville Sharks on Friday, May 25, and the 50th installment of the “War on I-4” against the Tampa Bay Storm on Friday, June 15 at Amway Center. both games will be shown on NFL Network.
Fans can purchase season tickets by calling the ticket office at 407-648-4444. The Predators are entering its 21st season in the AFL, which celebrates 25 years of indoor football in 2012.
The all-time series between the Preds and Storm is tied at 24 games apiece. Over the past two seasons, Orlando and Tampa have split the last four regular season meetings. The Storm holds an edge in postseason play following a 63-62 semifinal win in 2010.
The Preds face off with the Storm for the first time in 2012 in Tampa during the eighth game of the season on Saturday, May 5.
The Sharks host Orlando on Saturday, July 14. Jacksonville won both regular season meetings in 2011 and eliminated the Preds from the opening round of the playoffs en route to the championship. in 2010, Orlando took two of three games in the series, including a first-round win in the playoffs on the road.
Division play gets started on Friday, April 20 at home when the Preds host the Georgia Force. Orlando then travels to Georgia on Sunday, July 1, where they won 48-43 a year ago. The Force won the rematch in Orlando two months later, 64-34.
On Friday, May 18 the Preds travel to new Orleans, the site of ArenaBowl XXV, for an NFL Network game against the VooDoo, whom Orlando swept last year in the first and final games of the season. The VooDoo is scheduled to take on the Preds in Orlando on Saturday, June 23.
Along with facing its South Division rivals twice throughout the regular season, the 18-game schedule also has the Preds meeting up three other American Conference teams during home-and-away dates.
The Predators open the season at home Week 1 against the Pittsburgh Power on Friday, March 9 on NFL Network. They’ll then travel to Pittsburgh for the first time ever on Saturday, April 14. last season Orlando defeated the Power 62-54 at Amway Center.
On Saturday, April 28 new Preds coach Bret Munsey faces the franchise he led to an ArenaBowl title when the Philadelphia Soul comes to town. It’ll be the first meeting between the two teams since the opening week of 2008, when the Soul won 71-56 and went on to win the championship. Munsey and the Preds will be in Philly to take on the Soul on Saturday, June 2.
The Cleveland Gladiators host the Preds on Sunday, April 8 then travel to Orlando for a rematch on Friday, July 6. The team’s split the last two meetings as the Preds won big at home a year ago by a 56-26 score. in 2010, Cleveland came away on top, 77-70.
The Predators also host the San Antonio Talons, who relocated from Tulsa, on Saturday, March 31 and the Milwaukee Mustangs in the season finale on Sunday, July 22. Orlando holds a 2-1 advantage over Milwaukee and a 2-0 advantage over the Talons since 2010.
Road dates against the Chicago rush on Thursday, March 22 and San Jose SaberCats on Friday, June 8 round out the 2012 schedule. The Preds lost 55-42 at Chicago in 2010 and 60-40 at San Jose in 2011.
The Preds will entertain bye weeks during Week 2 (March 16-18) and Week 10 (May 11-13) of the 2012 season.
Game times and broadcast partners will be announced at a later date.
ORLANDO PREDATORS 2012 SCHEDULE
Friday, March 9 – PITTSBURGH POWER @ ORLANDO PREDATORS (NFL Network)
Thursday, March 22 – ORLANDO PREDATORS @ CHICAGO RUSH
Saturday, March 31 – SAN ANTONIO TALONS @ ORLANDO PREDATORS
Sunday, April 8 – ORLANDO PREDATORS @ CLEVELAND GLADIATORS
Saturday, April 14 – ORLANDO PREDATORS @ PITTSBURGH POWER
Friday, April 20 – GEORGIA FORCE @ ORLANDO PREDATORS
Saturday, April 28 – PHILADELPHIA SOUL @ ORLANDO PREDATORS
Saturday, May 5 – ORANDO PREDATORS @ TAMPA BAY STORM
Friday, May 18 – ORLANDO PREDATORS @ NEW ORLEANS VOODOO (NFL Network)
Friday, May 25 – JACKSONVILLE SHARKS @ ORLANDO PREDATORS (NFL Network)
Saturday, June 2 – ORLANDO PREDATORS @ PHILADELPHIA SOUL
Friday, June 8 – ORLANDO PREDATORS @ SAN JOSE SABERCATS
Friday, June 15 – TAMPA BAY STORM @ ORLANDO PREDATORS (NFL Network)
Saturday, June 23 – NEW ORLEANS VOODOO @ ORLANDO PREDATORS
Sunday, July 1 – ORLANDO PREDATORS @ GEORGIA FORCE
Friday, July 6 – CLEVELAND GLADIATORS @ ORLANDO PREDATORS
Saturday, July 14 – ORLANDO PREDATORS @ JACKSONVILLE SHARKS
Sunday, July 22 – MILWAUKEE MUSTANGS @ ORLANDO PREDATORS
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