Arena Football League (1991-1992)
Born: March 18, 1991 – AFL expansion franchise.
Died: October 1992 – The Night cease operations.
Arena: Louisiana Superdome (13,900)
Team Colors: Midnight Blue, Sunset Orange, Moonlight White
- 1991: Arena Football League
- 1992: Mike McBath, et al.
The New Orleans Night was a short-lived franchise during the early years of the original Arena Football League (1987-2008). The Night formed as an owner-less expansion team in March 1991 and were operated during their first season by the building management of the Louisiana Superdome. In July 1991, Orlando-area businessman and former NFL defensive end put together a group to buy the Night for $500,000. McBath already was a part owner of the league’s very popular Orlando Predators franchise, but he was unable to replicate that success in the Big Easy and the Night folded after a winless 1992 campaign.
The Night were 4-6 in the first season in 1991 under former Philadelphia Eagles Head Coach Eddie Khayat. The team’s most notable player was former Mississippi Valley State quarterback Willie Totten. Totten was Jerry Rice’s college quarterback and shattered numerous Division 1-AA passing records in tandem with the legendary receiver. Totten split time at quarterback with former LSU signal caller Mickey Guidry in 1991.
After Mike McBath bought the team, former Tulane Head Coach Vince Gibson replaced Eddie Khayat for the 1992 season. The Night went 0-10 under Gibson, with Mickey Guidry taking most of the snaps at quarterback. The Night’s final appearance was a 62-8 humiliation on the road against McBath’s other team, the Orlando Predators, on July 31, 1992. McBath and his partners handed the keys to the franchise back to the league office in October 1992 and the Night was quietly euthanized when no other buys came forward.
Even among Arena Football diehards, the New Orleans Night are on obscure and forgotten franchise. To the extent they are remembered at all, it is usually for sporting garish Zubaz stripes on their uniforms as part of a 1991 promotional campaign with the flash-in-the-pan apparel manufacturer.
The Night cheerleading squad was known as “The Rhythm of the Night”.
The Night host the Dallas Texans at the Superdome. July 5, 1991.
==New Orleans Night Games on Fun While It Lasted==
|1991||6/22/1991||vs. Denver Dynamite||L 54-44||Program|
|1991||7/5/1991||vs. Dallas Texans||W 39-37||Program||Video|
|1991||7/19/1991||@ Orlando Predators||L 44-29||Program|
|1992||6/20/1992||@ Arizona Rattlers||L 23-15||Program|
Former Night Head Coach Vince Gibson passed away on January 10, 2012 from Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Gibson was 78.