- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 22, 2018

The No. 2 seed Baltimore Brigade will host the No. 4 Washington Valor in ArenaBowl XXXI, the Arena Football League’s 2018 championship game, Saturday night at 7 p.m. at Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore.

Both teams are owned by Monumental Sports and Entertainment, and both will play in their first ArenaBowls.

The Valor went 2-10 in the regular season but took full advantage of a new AFL playoff format that pits semifinal opponents against each other twice in a home-and-home series. After the top-seeded expansion franchise Albany Empire won the first playoff game 57-56, the Valor took Game 2 47-40 Saturday night and won by the aggregate score, 103-97.

The Brigade (7-5 regular season) took care of the two-time ArenaBowl champion Philadelphia Soul, winning their two semifinal games 57-45 and 53-41.

Baltimore will host the city’s first ArenaBowl, but not because the Brigade are seeded higher than the Valor. The game was supposed to be awarded to the arena with the higher average attendance of the two teams playing, but the Valor’s home field, Capital One Arena, is unavailable Saturday due to summertime renovations.

Being seeded higher than the Valor, the Brigade will host ArenaBowl XXXI, the first in the city of Baltimore.

• Adam Zielonka can be reached at azielonka@washingtontimes.com.

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