- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 14, 2016

The Washington Valor is D.C.’s newest professional sports team.

The Arena Football League expansion franchise, owned by Monumental Sports, unveiled its name, logo and colors in a press conference on Thursday.

“[The team name] feels very endemic to what we hope to build, but we also think it holds a mirror up to the community and fanbase that we want to serve,” Monumental founder and chairman Ted Leonsis said. “It calls out the best in all of us to be brave and strong and celebrate our country but also creates an identity locally.”

The Valor, which will kick off its inaugural season in the Verizon Center next spring, was acquired by Monumental Sports in March and named AFL coaching veteran Dean Cokinos as its first head coach in May.

The logo — a stars-and-stripes “V” accented with the head of a bald eagle — uses a similar red-white-and-blue color scheme to Monumental Sports‘ three other professional sports teams: the Mystics, Wizards and Capitals.

“We felt it was important that we represented the nation’s capital, the vibrancy of the city and its sports teams as well as the inherent values of being strong, committed and truthful,” Roger Mody, co-owner and Monumental Sports managing partner of the Valor, said. “We also wanted to find a team name that represented the courage and passion of the spirit of the amazing people and fans of Washington, D.C.

Second-year AFL Commissioner Scott Butera was also on hand to discuss the league’s recent growth, including a 15 percent across-the-board attendance increase in 2016, and the significance of a new market in Washington.

“I can’t tell you how great it is to have Washington and the Monumental Sports group as part of the AFL,” Butera said. “There’s been so much energy, excitement and enthusiasm about this team without even having played one game it really is helping us grow as a league.”

The AFL, currently in its 29th season, will welcome the Washington Valor as the ninth team in the two-conference league which plays an 18-week schedule from April to August.

“There’s a bigger knowledge of Arena Football [in Washington D.C.] than I anticipated,” Cokinos, who won an AFL championship with the Alabama Vipers in 2008, said. “It’s a different form of entertainment. I mean you’ve got the NBA, NHL, NFL but we’re summer…It’s fast-paced, it’s different, it’s fan-friendly, it’s entertaining so I think it’s going to be a really good product here.”

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