Panthers playoff tickets on sale; PIFL finally releases statement on Albany-Alabama brawl fallout

Looking Ahead

WHO: Albany Panthers (9-1) at Columbus Lions (5-5).

WHAT: Rubber match between Georgia rivals.

WHEN: 7 p.m. Saturday.

WHERE: Columbus.

RADIO: 97.3 FM.

ALBANY — With the regular season about to wind down, the Albany Panthers are just two playoff wins from capturing their second straight arena football championship.

Having already clinched the regular-season title and home-field advantage by virtue of their win last week against the Knoxville Nighthawks, the Panthers (9-1) are gearing up for the playoffs, which begin June 23, by announcing Tuesday that tickets for the postseason are now on sale.

Individual playoff tickets for the first-round home game — which will take place against an opponent that has yet to be determined because the final two weeks of the regular season must still shake out to settle seeding — are now available at the Civic Center box office or at ticketmaster.com for $10.

First up, however, is Saturday’s rubber match on the road against the only team to beat the Panthers all season: the hated Columbus Lions (5-5). After that, Albany will close out its regular season June 16 on the road against the Richmond Raiders.

PIFL: Punishment for brawl between Albany Panthers, Alabama Hammers handled internally

The expected fallout from an ugly brawl between the Albany Panthers and Alabama Hammers three weeks ago was apparently much to do about nothing.

Several days after the brawl that took place following the final whistle of the Panthers’ 59-40 win May 19, Jeff Gonos, compliance director for the Professional Indoor Football League, told The Herald that what happened was unacceptable and the league was looking into what penalties — such as fines or suspensions — would be handed out to members of both teams.

But with no decision being reached before the PIFL resumed games last weekend following a league-wide bye week over the Memorial Day holiday, the PIFL finally addressed the fracas in a one-sentence statement Monday.

“The post-game incident involving the Albany Panthers and Alabama Hammers has been handled internally and both teams have been reprimanded for their actions to ensure that these type of events do not occur in the PIFL,” the statement read.

When reached Tuesday, Panthers GM Will Carter said he had “no comment” on the league’s statement, but Carter did confirm that no Panthers players were suspended or fined by the franchise for their involvement.