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The Boston Globe

North

Malden

Football league delays opening until 2014

A start-up spring football league expected to include a Malden-based team has pushed off its opening season until 2014, Malden Mayor Gary Christenson confirmed Thursday.

Christenson said he learned of the decision last week, when he and City Councilor Steven Ultrino met with officials from the Boston Freedom Fighters of the National Spring Football League, who are working on an agreement with the city to play a six-game home schedule at Macdonald Stadium.

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“It was revealed to us that they are going to be delaying the start of the season until next year,” Christenson said.

The team had briefly posted an announcement to its Facebook page that said the league’s inaugural season had been pushed back, but it has since been taken down. But comments on the page’s message board indicate the league, geared to players hoping to move up to the NFL, needs more time to get established.

Team officials did not immediately return calls for comment. The team is co-owned by Malden businessman William Spadafora.

Plans to play at Macdonald Stadium on Pearl Street became controversial after the team sought to serve beer at games. Following a public hearing in February, Christenson said he would only work out a deal if it did not include serving beer.

Christenson said he was still under the impression the team wanted Malden as its host city, at least for one year, and possibly longer if the league succeeds and a proposed minor league baseball park on Commercial Street is built. The team could play its home games at the new park, Christenson said.

“I think in the long term the hope is they could forge a permanent agreement if the ballpark became a reality,” he said.

Jarret Bencks can be reached at bencks.globe@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @JarretBencks.
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