Philadelphia’s Soul Has Returned.

In a major metropolitan city such as Philadelphia, it is often easy to overlook the success of our other sports franchises that aren’t named the Flyers, Sixers, Eagles, and Phillies.

Teams like the Soul, Wings, and Union have championship history too.

Just when you were worried about the soul of Philadelphia, they are back. The Philadelphia Soul are returning for the 2024 season, which kicks off on April 27th, and will play home games at the CURE Arena in Trenton, New Jersey.

The revival of the Philadelphia Soul comes after a five-year hiatus, before which the team won Arena Bowl XXXII. 

The Philadelphia Soul began play in February of 2004, with the Wachovia Center as its home under ownership from Jon Bon Jovi and Ron Jaworski, among others.

In 2005, the Soul made Tony Graziani the highest-paid player in league history. In 2006, many people didn’t see the Soul’s Divisional Round loss because of the PGA Tour in a game dubbed the “round of golf” game.

In 2008, the Soul signed wide receiver Chris Jackson. Teaming up with Graziani once again and thanks to excellent play by backup quarterback Matt D’Orazio, the Soul would win their first championship against the San Jose SaberCats in ArenaBowl XXII.

Like the rest of the Arena Football League, play was paused in 2009 & 2010. The Soul did receive an invite to return to the Arena Football League in 2011 under a new ownership group that did not include Jon Bon Jovi — who continued to support the franchise.

The Philadelphia Soul were on the rise once again.

In 2012 and 2013, the team advanced to ArenaBowl XXV and ArenaBowl XXVI but fell to the Arizona Rattlers in both years. 

In 2014, the team’s ownership group expanded to included former NFL players Marques Colston and Jahri Evans, as well as former coach Dick Vermeil.

In ArenaBowl XXIX in 2016, they would claim their second AFL Championship with a revenge victory against the winners of the 2012 and 2013 ArenaBowl’s against the Arizona Rattlers. The following year in 2017, the Soul came back in ArenaBowl XXX against the Tampa Bay Storm to win 44–40. The thirteen-point rally was an ArenaBowl record.

In 2019, the AFL suspended operations once again.

Like many championship franchises that Philadelphia has lost over the years, the Soul could have been lost forever.

In 2024, they shall return to Philadelphia.


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