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Massachusetts Marauders
[[File:|center|150px|Massachusetts Marauders]]
Year founded 1988
Year folded 1994
Prior names Detroit Drive
Divisional championships {{{divisional}}}
ArenaBowl championships 4:
1988, 1989, 1990, 1992

The Massachusetts Marauders was a professional arena football team that played in the Arena Football League in 1994.

HistoryEdit

Detroit Drive (1988–1993)Edit

The Detroit Drive was a professional arena football team playing as an Arena Football League team from 1988–1993. They were in six consecutive championship ArenaBowls, one for each season of the team's Detroit existence, winning four of them, making them the dominant team of the League's early period. In 1992 they played in the Northern Division.

Their home games were played at the Joe Louis Arena, also home to the Detroit Red Wings of the National Hockey League.

The Drive won the ArenaBowl in 1988, 1989, 1990 and 1992.

The Drive had, arguably, the best management team in the league. Owner Mike Ilitch, General Manager Gary Vitto, and Head Coach Tim Marcum are all in the AFL Hall of Fame. Following the 1992 season, Ilitch purchased the Detroit Tigers of Major League Baseball and Vitto was transferred to the Tigers front office. Marcum assumed GM duties for 1993 and led the team to its final Arena Bowl.

Mike Ilitch sold the Drive so that they would not compete with the Tigers for attendance. Shortly after his purchase of them, the Tigers began their worst drought in team history, posting a losing record in every season from 1994 to 2005. Ilitch still claims that he only kept the Drive because they were constant contenders.

Massachusetts Marauders (1994)Edit

The team's on-field success did not mean equivalent business success; although the team was the most profitable in the AFL, setting attendance records, owner Mike Ilitch sold the team following his purchase of the Detroit Tigers in 1993. The team competed in 1994 as the Massachusetts Marauders at the Worcester Centrum in Worcester, MA, but folded after going 9-5 in their first and only season. Where as the Drive averaged over 14,000 fans a game during their 6 seasons in Detroit, the Marauders averaged less than 7,400 a game. Nearly three years after the Marauders folded, Dan DeVos purchased the franchise out of bankruptcy court, and in 1998 they became the Grand Rapids Rampage, who played until 2008.

Detroit later received a second Arena Football team, the Detroit Fury. The Fury played from 2001 to 2004 in The Palace of Auburn Hills and were co-owned by William Davidson, owner of the Detroit Pistons and William Clay Ford, Jr., son of the owner of the Detroit Lions. The Fury were never as successful as the Drive, compiling a 22-41 record and averaging 8,152 fans per game before they folded in 2004.

While the Drive's history may have been short, they have an unforgettable legacy to Arena Football fans, with ArenaBowl trips every year of their existence, and creating the first dynasty in the Arena Football League.

Video gamesEdit

The Drive and Marauders both appeared on the game EA Sports Arena Football as hidden bonus teams.

Season-by-seasonEdit

Notable playersEdit

AFL Hall of FamersEdit

External linksEdit

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