Kayvon Thibodeaux leads ownership team of AFL’s Oregon Blackbears franchise

New York Giants defensive end and former Oregon Ducks’ star Kayvon Thibodeaux will lead the ownership group of the Oregon Blackbears franchise of the Arena Football League, the league announced Wednesday.

The Blackbears will play in Salem and are one of 16 franchises in the AFL, which is scheduled to begin play in April.

“Oregon is renowned for having a rabid football fan base, so we’re absolutely thrilled to bring a new franchise to this market,” AFL commissioner Lee Hutton said in a statement. “There’s no better person to lead the Oregon Blackbears than a true Oregon star like Kayvon who understands the fans’ insatiable appetite for success.”

Blackbears’ coach Chuck Jones has said he is out recruiting players and the Blackbears will hold an open tryout on Nov. 4.

The Blackbears will play their home games at the Salem Pavilion on the state fairgrounds. Jones said the team has tentatively scheduled a game against the Everett Hawks on April 11.