GEORGIA (WRBL) — The National Arena League (NAL) announced today that the Columbus Lions franchise will be removed from the league.

This decision was brought to motion Monday, Dec. 19 at a Board of Directors call.

On Dec. 22, the NAL executed the decision. The removal of Columbus Lions from all NAL affiliation is effective immediately, says the league.

NAL Commissioner Chris Siegfried wishes the Lions’ managing partner success.

“Josh Blair, managing partner of the Lions, has been updating me recently of their situation, and I know he worked hard to keep their playing hopes alive,” says Siegfried. “The League waited a long time with hopes of Columbus continuing in the NAL, but it is time to move on. We wish Josh and his partners all the success moving forward, and the door to our league will be open for the Lions should they come back in the future.”

The Columbus Lions were part of NAL since the beginning. Remaining NAL franchises will proceed to 2023.

The NAL says it will announce the updated 2023 regular season schedule soon.

UPDATE: The Lions have released a statement regarding their departure from the National Arena League.

“The Lions organization has been part of the National Arena League since its inception and as a small market team has enjoyed great success against teams from larger markets, including three championship appearances. We will miss the friendships with the fans and partners in the NAL and wish them success for the upcoming season,” said Joshua Blair, Partner of the Columbus Lions.

The Lions also announced that Lee Snow will serve as interim General Manager for the team, and newly hired Head Coach Chris McKinney will remain with the team as well as other support staff. Snow said, “We are proud of our legacy in Columbus and Arena Football and want nothing more than for that legacy to continue. We believe it is our duty to put a fun, family-friendly, and competitive product on the field.”

The team will announce which league they will play in for the 2023 season Friday night at 6pm ET.