Antonio Brown is making his return to professional football on Saturday.
No, it won’t be as part of an NFL team. He won’t even be playing in the top spring league, the USFL, either.
Instead, Brown will be suiting up for the Albany Empire of the National Arena League.
It’s not a big surprise that Brown is playing for the Empire. After all, he is the majority owner of the team and runs it in conjunction with his father, former Albany Firebirds star “Touchdown” Eddie Brown.
The younger Brown had originally said that he wouldn’t be suiting up for the Empire when he bought the team. However, after some early-season turmoil that was largely caused by Brown, he is taking matters into his own hands and hoping to spark the 1-4 Empire after four consecutive losses.
MORE: How Antonio Brown became an arena football team owner
Naturally, many will be curious to see how Brown looks in his first action since his unceremonious, in-game exit from the Buccaneers at the end of the 2021 season. Luckily, there’s an easy way to catch the arena league contest as the Empire square off against the Fayetteville Mustangs on Saturday at 7 p.m. ET.
Here’s what to know about Antonio Brown’s first game with Albany.
Watch Antonio Brown arena football live stream
Fans who want to watch Antonio Brown play live will be able to do so for free on YouTube. The NAL streams all of its games live on its YouTube account.
You can watch Brown’s first game in Albany below once it begins. The contest is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. ET.
MORE: How Antonio Brown “came in and killed” Albany Empire franchise
What time is Antonio Brown’s arena football game?
- Date: Saturday, May 27
- Start time: 7 p.m. ET
- TV channel: YouTube
- Location: MVP Arena in Albany, N.Y.
Brown’s return to action will begin at 7 p.m. ET on Saturday, May 27. The Empire will host the Mustangs at that time in a home game.
Albany has averaged 2,500 fans per game so far this season, so it will be interesting to see whether Brown’s on-field presence will impact the crowd that shows up.
What is Antonio Brown’s arena football team?
Brown’s arena football team is the Albany Empure. Brown first bought a share of the team, reported to be 47.5 percent, in March after expressing an interest in owning the club. He then bought another 47.5 percent of the company in April, giving him 95 percent of the team in total.
The Empire is currently competing in the National Arena League (NAL). They are one of seven teams in the league, which was founded in 2016.
The Albany franchise was founded in 2020 and the team is playing its third arena-league season. That said, the Empire share a name, logo and color scheme with an Arena Football League team that played games in 2018 and 2019 before the AFL folded. So, the brand has been around for much longer.
The modern Empire franchise has been one of the NAL’s most successful to date. They have won each of the last two NAL championship games and are one of two teams with multiple titles to their name. The other is the Jacksonville Sharks.
Overall, the Empire entered 2023 with a regular-season record of 15-5 and an undefeated 4-0 postseason record. They haven’t fared as well in 2023, posting a 1-4 record in their first five games.
MORE: Antonio Brown’s timeline of trouble, from Steelers trade to Buccaneers release
Albany Empire schedule 2023
The Empire have started their 14-game season with a 1-4 record. Brown will hope to help the team spark a turnaround.
Below is a look at Albany’s schedule and results for 2023:
|1||Sunday, April 16||Empire 70, Predators 33||2:30 p.m.|
|2||Saturday, April 22||Gunslingers 55, Empire 53||7 p.m.|
|3||Sunday, April 30||Cobras 56, Empire 49||3 p.m.|
|4||Saturday, May 6||Warbirds 41, Empire 38||7 p.m.|
|5||Saturday, May 20||Sharks 79, Empire 34||7 p.m.|
|6||Saturday, May 27||vs. Mustangs||7 p.m.|
|7||Friday, June 9||at Predators||7:30 p.m.|
|8||Saturday, June 17||vs. Sharks||7 p.m.|
|9||Saturday, June 24||at Gunslingers||7 p.m.|
|10||Saturday, July 1||vs. Mustangs||4 p.m.|
|11||Saturday, July 8||at Warbirds||8:30 p.m.|
|12||Saturday, July 15||at Sharks||7 p.m.|
|13||Saturday, July 22||vs. Cobras||7 p.m.|
|14||Saturday, July 29||at Mustangs||7 p.m.|