So Soul it is. Which should be a good fit with a league that already has a Rush, a Crush, a Fury, a Force, a Rampage and a Storm.
But even with a distinctive name, the Soul may have a tough time finding their niche in an extraordinarily crowded local sports marketplace.
The Soul, who will play their first game on the weekend after February's Super Bowl, will compete for the professional sports dollar with the Flyers, 76ers, Wings, Kixx, Phantoms and, starting in April, the Phillies in a new ballpark.
"We don't know if it's going to work," said Bon Jovi, who lives in Monmouth County, New Jersey. "But we're going to give people value for their money and then some."
Added David Baker, the league commissioner: "No doubt Philadelphia will be tough. But Denver has as much professional sports per capita as any place in the world. And we went in there last year with a strong ownership and sold out every game."
For Bon Jovi and his partner, Craig Spencer, a local businessman who is president and chief executive officer of the Arden Group, a development company, this is not a lark. It can't be, considering that the league's franchise fee, according to Baker, is about $15 million.
But the Soul's owners say that they have done their homework and that they believe football fans in the area will be drawn to the high-scoring game and fan-friendly league.
The ceremonial launch of the team takes place today, with all the hoopla the presence of a rock star guarantees. After a full day of media appearances - on sports radio, rock stations and network television - Bon Jovi and Spencer will host a 4 p.m. rally on the steps of the Wachovia Spectrum.
Scheduled to attend, among others, are Gov. Rendell, Mayor Street, rock guitarist Richie Sambora and his wife, actress Heather Locklear.
Already, the Soul have most of the trappings of a sports franchise. They have a logo, a stylized football with a trailing wing; team colors, gun-metal gray (almost black) and medium blue; and a primary sponsor, Target stores.
They have a president, former Eagles quarterback Ron Jaworski; a general manager, Joe Hennessy, late of the league's Indiana Firebirds; and a coach, Michael Trigg, who won the league championship in 2001 with the Grand Rapids (Mich.) Rampage.
The Soul even have one player, Dwayne Missouri, a 24-year-old lineman who has limited NFL experience with Baltimore and Dallas, and who spent last year with the league's Colorado Crush. The rest of the 20-man roster and four-player reserve list will come from an expansion draft and free-agent signings.
Arena football is an eight-on-eight game played on a field 50 yards long and 85 feet wide, meaning it fits within the dimensions of a hockey rink.
The Soul are scheduled to play four of their eight home games at the Wachovia Center and the other four at the Spectrum. If the Flyers and Sixers don't have long playoff runs, the Soul might be able to shift a game or two in April and May from the Spectrum to the Center.
Team officials said yesterday that ticket prices would average about $26.
The league, which plays a 16-game schedule from February through June, is expanding from 16 teams to as many as 19 this season, with new clubs in Philadelphia, New Orleans, and probably Austin, Texas.
Contact staff writer Larry Eichel
at 215-854-2415 or firstname.lastname@example.org.