Rush to kickoff AFL season March 23 at Allstate

  • The Chicago Rush will return to AFL action on March 23 at Allstate Arena against the Iowa Barnstormers to open their 18-game season.

    The Chicago Rush will return to AFL action on March 23 at Allstate Arena against the Iowa Barnstormers to open their 18-game season. Daily Herald file

Updated 3/1/2013 11:03 AM

Courtesy of a signature on the dotted line by new owner David Staral Jr. a little over three weeks before their March 23 home opener, the Chicago Rush finally has a deal to play its 2013 home games at the Allstate Arena.

Well, make that 7/9ths of a deal as two of the dates on the home schedule have conflicts with Allstate Arena and may have to be played at another venue or perhaps on the road.


"I don't think the league is going to let them move off those weekends, and unfortunately both those weekends we're booked with other events," said Pat Nagle, Allstate Arena general manager.

Exact details of where the Rush might play their June 14 game and another date later in July have yet to be finalized, but the bottom line is that Rush officials can now tell their fans that the Arena Football League season opener against Iowa on March 23 at Allstate Arena is a go.

"It's a relief," Nagle said. "(The Rush) has been like our baby over the years. We've seen it built up over the years, then when the league shut down for two years we thought that was going to be the end.

"It's been rebuilding itself too often for me, but when it's up and going it's a great product to watch and the fans who come to see it just love it."

With the season now a go, Rush ownership this week finalized the front office staff, and it will include some familiar faces.

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Jon Redmond enters his fifth season with the team as the Director of Football Operations. Ryan Simmons returns as the Executive Vice President, Craig Bornemeier is the new Director of Ticket and Game Operations, and Mike McLaughlin will be the Director of Marketing and Public Relations.

In addition, the Rush finalized its coaching staff with head coach Bob McMillen, adding Siaha Burley as the team's offensive coordinator for the 2013 season.

Burley, who played from 2001-2010, is widely considered as one of the top offensive forces to ever play in the league. He tallied 843 receptions for 10,810 yards and 237 touchdowns over a highly decorated career with four different teams.

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