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Philadelphia to return to AFL without Bon Jovi

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Rob Keefe, now coach at Spokane, played on Philadelphia's championship team in 2008 (Photo: SWX) Rob Keefe, now coach at Spokane, played on Philadelphia's championship team in 2008 (Photo: SWX)
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The Philadelphia Soul is planning a resurrection of sorts. The team that won the AFL championship in 2008 - the one partially owned by Jon Bon Jovi - is coming back. This time, though, it'll be without the legendary rocker, according to the Associated Press.

The AP reported Tuesday that the team, which shut down after beating the San Jose Saber Cats in the ArenaBowl, are set to return to the league in 2011 with former Eagles quarterback Ron Jaworksi and businessman Craig Spencer at the helm.

"The AFL is pleased to welcome the Philadelphia Soul back to the Arena Football family," said AFL commissioner Jerry Kurz in a news release published on PhiladelphiaSoul.com. "The passionate fans of Philadelphia and the surrounding area as well as the tremendous ownership group epitomize Arena Football and the league's continued commitment to the communities we serve."

Bon Jovi said in the same news release that he would not be a part of the new ownership group due to his focus on his current worldwide music tour.

The Soul shut down operations following their championship because the AFL suspended the entire 2009 season. For whatever reason the team's owners decided to sit out the launch of the new AFL in 2010, even though teams Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Arizona and Utah, Orlando and Tampa Bay jumped in feet first.

The Spokane Shock organization, which has been a model team for the AFL this season, had no comment on Philadelphia's plans on Wednesday. Head coach Rob Keefe, who played on the Soul's championship team in 2008, declined to add his thoughts, with a team spokesman saying any talk of possible expansion needs to come from the league office.

While news that Philadelphia was being added to the league came on Tuesday, the Philadelphia Enquirer reported that Kurz has had ongoing negotiations to bring teams to Pittsburgh, Denver and Southern California as well.

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