Valdosta Daily Times

Local Sports

March 6, 2013

Georgia Firebirds looking to relocate to Valdosta

VALDOSTA — The Georgia Firebirds are coming to Valdosta. Maybe.

A semi-professional football team currently located in Tifton, the Firebirds are looking to play their upcoming season out of Valdosta, says owner Darrien Teals.

“We will play out of Valdosta once I find us a stadium to play from,” Teals said Tuesday.

Currently, Teals said he has reached out to Valdosta, Lowndes, Valwood and Valdosta State about using their facilities for Firebird games, which drew an average attendance of 300 to 500 people in Tifton, according to Teals.

With the season beginning May 4, Valwood’s stadium won’t be available because of a renovation project and the likelihood of utilizing Valdosta’s and Lowndes’ facilities doesn’t look good, says Teals.

One option the Firebirds are hoping for is being able to use the practice field at Valdosta State, which Teals said would be “perfect” for his team.

“We would love to play there,” he said.

The Firebirds are entering their fourth year of existence. They played all three of their previous years in Tifton’s Brodie Field.

Low attendance numbers has forced Teals to look for other places to play. Valdosta is where he wants to relocate.

“We have guys from all over,” Teals said. “We are a community development organization. We give people a chance to develop their jobs.”

The Firebirds will play out of the Gridiron Developmental Football League in 2013. They will play teams from the Jacksonville, Gainesville (Fla.) and Atlanta areas.

In 2011, the Firebirds were members of the United Football Federation and won a bowl game in Miami, Fla.

Last year, the Firebirds competed as an independent football team, playing various teams from various semi-professional leagues.

Valdosta is already home to a semi-pro football team, the Valdosta Hawks, who actually play their home games in Hamilton County, Fla.

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