The Philadelphia Soul is making a return engagement, but will be without its famous frontman.
The Daily News has learned that Arena Football will return to Philadelphia next spring with Ron Jaworski and Craig Spencer leading the franchise and Jon Bon Jovi on the sidelines.
"We are bringing back to our incredible fans the most exciting, fan-friendly and affordable brand of football in America," said Jaworski, an original owner and current ESPN Monday Night Football broadcaster. "My partners and I are committed to putting together a championship team for this great city to be proud of."
A formal announcement is scheduled for Wednesday.
Bon Jovi, the mega-rock star, will no longer be part of the ownership group, but crab fry-king Pete Ciarrocchi, of the Chickie's and Pete's local restaurant chain, will. Cosmo DeNicola, who previously owned the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Pioneers of AF2, is also part of the ownership group.
"I will not be part of the ownership group due to my focus and attention being on the current Bon Jovi worldwide tour, but I have fond memories of my experience with the Soul and especially our 2008 ArenaBowl championship season," Bon Jovi said in a statement. "I continue to be a fan of the team and want nothing but continued success on and off the field for the Soul."
The team is expected to again play at the Wachovia Center and participate in the new incarnation of the AFL. A lockout washed out the 2009 season and resulted in several franchises folding. It also cost the Soul a chance to defend its 2008 championship.
The current AFL has 15 teams. None are located in the Northeastern region of the United States. The current 15-team roster includes: the Arizona Rattlers, Alabama Vipers, Bossier-Shreveport BattleWings, Cleveland Gladiators, Chicago Rush, Dallas Vigilantes, Iowa Barnstormers, Jacksonville Sharks, Milwaukee Iron, Oklahoma City Yard Dawgz, Orlando Predators, Spokane Shock, Tampa Bay Storm, Tulsa Talons and Utah Blaze.