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Arena Football League announces that the West Texas Desert Hawks will be the newest franchise

Formerly the Warbirds, the Desert Hawks join the AFL after playing in the NAL in 2023 and the AFA in 2021 and 2022, winning the title in 2021.

ODESSA, Texas — The Arena Football League, or AFL, have announced that the West Texas Desert Hawks, previously the Warbirds, are the league's newest franchise. They will compete under the ownership of JAZ Diesel Services founder Zack Bugg.

The Desert Hawks join the AFL after playing in the National Arena League, or NAL, in 2023 and the Arena Football Association, or AFA, during the 2021 and 2022 season, winning the league title in 2021. 

“There’s absolutely nothing like Texas football," Bugg said. "So we’re looking forward to competing for an Arena Football League championship for West Texas and bringing the community closer together.”

The team will play its home games at Ector County Coliseum.

Bugg took over ownership in April 2023 after serving as the team's general manager from July 2022 to February 2023.

The introduction of the West Texas Desert Hawks comes shortly after the AFL announced the Billings Outlaws as the league’s inaugural franchise. The league previously announced its initial team markets in July 2023 and will return to the field in 2024 under the leadership of Commissioner Lee A. Hutton III and CEO and Deputy Commissioner Travelle Gaines.  

For more information on the West Texas Desert Hawks, visit them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Wtxwarbirds/.  


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