February 10, 2016

WASHINGTON (AP) Commissioner Scott Butera says the Arena Football League is in ''serious negotiations'' with Ted Leonsis' Monumental Sports & Entertainment about bringing a team to Washington.

Butera confirmed a Washington Post report that the Arena Football League had a strong interest in the Washington area and is in talks with Monumental. Butera said in a phone interview on Wednesday that the goal would be to have a team in place for the 2017 season.

Butera couldn't comment on where the team might play, other than to say it would be ''well-liked by all of the fan base.'' Monumental owns Verizon Center, where the NBA's Wizards and NHL's Capitals play.

The AFL currently has eight teams but none located on the East Coast between Philadelphia and Florida.

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