In a press release Wednesday, Albany Empire co-owner Mike Kwarta says he is no longer in any way affiliated with the arena football team. Also exiting are team President Matt Woods and Director of Public Relations, Jeff Levack.
Kwarta did not state his reason for leaving, but highlighted the team’s achievements over the last several few years of his ownership:
The goal from when the team was brought back in 2021 was to bring football back to the 518 to stay. We brought two championships in two years and made the team sustainable for the future. Because of this, the history of the Empire in 2018 & 2019, and now 2021 & 2022 can never be erased. The entire goal was to fortify the Empire and ensure it would be a part of the Capital Region forever. I’ll always have strong feelings for the Empire players, coaches, staff, and especially the fans in the 518. I wish the best of luck to our players and coaching staff in bringing home the fourth ring in four seasons. Go Empire!
This leaves former NFL player and Albany Native Antonio Brown with 95% ownership of the team.
All this just after the Albany Empire won its home opener on Sunday, beating the Orlando Predators 70-33, but it wasn’t without drama. Before the game, Antonio Brown got into an altercation with security trying to get him off the field so the game could get underway. Video of the ordeal made it to TMZ and several national sports news outlets.
The Times Union raised questions over the weekend over who really owned the team, with Brown claiming it was all his.
The statement about Kwarta’s exit can be found here.
The Empire are scheduled to take on San Antonio at the MVP Arena this Saturday (4/22) with a 7pm kickoff.
feature photo: Dave Adamson on Unsplash
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