THE SLIMMED-DOWN Arena Football League announced its schedule Thursday and among the highlights was a reduction from 18 games to 16.

The Soul's first game is April 1 at Cleveland and the home opener is 10 days later against Jacksonville, which upset the Soul in last year's conference championship game.

Quarterback Dan Raudabaugh and leading receiver Ryan McDaniel are two of the Soul's key pieces under contract for 2016.

"I fully expect for us to be there again at the end," said John Adams, the team's chief operating officer.

Four franchises have been dissolved from last season: Las Vegas, New Orleans, Spokane and San Jose. Losing defending-champion San Jose last month was a particular blow since the SaberCats were regarded as one of the league's stable clubs.

Eight teams remain. The Soul are in the American Conference with the three Florida teams: Jacksonville, Orlando and Tampa Bay. In the National, it's Arizona, Cleveland, Los Angeles and Portland.

The Democratic National Convention (July 25-28) will push the Soul's final two home games out of the Wells Fargo Center. Trenton and Allentown are the most likely spots for those contests.

2016 SOUL SCHEDULE

Friday, April 1 @Cleveland. . . 7:00

Monday, April 11 JACKSONVILLE. . . 7:00

Sunday, April 17 PORTLAND. . . 4:00

Saturday, April 23 CLEVELAND. . . 6:00

Sunday, May 1 @LA Kiss. . . 6:00

Friday, May 6 TAMPA BAY. . . 7:00

Saturday, May 14 ARIZONA. . . 6:00

Saturday, May 21 ORLANDO. . . 6:00

Saturday, May 28 @Cleveland. . . 7:00

Saturday, June 4 @Jacksonville. . . 7:00

Saturday, June 11 LA KISS. . . TBA

Friday, June 17 @Arizona. . . 10:00

Saturday, June 25 @Portland. . . 10:00

Friday, June 17 @Arizona. . . 10:00

BYE

Saturday, July 9 CLEVELAND. . . 6:00

Saturday, July 16 @Tampa Bay. . . 5:00

BYE

Saturday, July 30 @Orlando. . . 7:30