Voodoo arena football team coming to Lake Charles

Published: Nov. 3, 2023 at 12:57 PM CDT|Updated: Nov. 3, 2023 at 6:17 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - A big announcement today from the Arena Football League – the revival of the Voodoo franchise will be happening right here in Lake Charles.

“Louisiana Voodoo, welcome to Lake Charles,” Mayor Nic Hunter said.

The Voodoo franchise began in New Orleans and competed from 2004 to 2008, then again from 2010 to 2015. The message shared at today’s conference – this team is here to stay, and here to win.

Prior to the Voodoo era, Louisiana boasted the New Orleans Night franchise that briefly played in the AFL in 1991 and 1992.

“You grow up and you have opportunities, you always think about how can I give back to my community, how do I give back to my family and really have them ride in your success? And so this moment really has a special place in my heart,” AFL commissioner Lea Hutton said.

Beginning in 2024, fans will be able to attend six home games at Sudduth Coliseum inside the Lake Charles Event Center.

“Our key points of where we wanted to establish locations really came down to the big C’s. It came down to the ‘C’ of community, and you guys have it here,” Hutton said.

Eunice native James Shiver has been named Voodoo’s head coach.

Shiver was the offensive coordinator for the Landsharks.

The Landsharks were an indoor team from 2001 to 2004. After the 2004 season, the Landsharks were replaced by the Louisiana Swashbucklers.

A graduate of the University of Lafayette with a master’s from Louisiana College, Shiver most recently served as athletic director and head coach at St. Edmund High School. He is also the former head coach of the Montgomery Maulers of the National Indoor Football League, earning Coach of the Year honors.

“We are going to have some really big-name players, we are going to do some really big things. People say, ‘Oh Lake Charles is one of the smaller markets,’ but guess what, it doesn’t matter,” Shiver said.

Shiver told us his practices will have an open-door policy, and he wants the community to be as involved as possible.

“But most importantly, I can tell you, we are going to be here. This is not going to be an AFL team that is going to be here for just a little while, we plan to make Lake Charles our home,” Hutton said.

The identity of the owner of the team will remain anonymous for now, but it was revealed that the owner is a celebrity.

If you are looking to support the team and purchase tickets, click here.

The AFL has recently introduced several franchises, including the Nashville Katz, Oregon Blackbears, Iowa Rampage, Wichita Regulators, Salina Liberty, Southwest Kansas Storm, Rapid City Marshals, Albany Firebirds, Washington Wolfpack, Orlando Predators, Billings Outlaws and West Texas Desert Hawks.