TAMPA — Philadelphia, the last team to win an ArenaBowl before the league suspended play, will return in 2011, it was announced Tuesday.
"This is a big addition for the league," Storm coach Tim Marcum said. "It's a good thing to have such a successful franchise return next year."
The Soul beat San Jose 59-56 in the 2008 ArenaBowl. One of the top-drawing teams in the league — it averaged 16,477 in 2008 — the Soul will help infuse a fan base that has seen sagging attendance in certain cities. Twenty-six games have drawn fewer than 6,000.
"I've very concerned about certain places throughout this league," Marcum said. "You look at places like Bossier-Shreveport (La.) and even some big cities like Milwaukee, and they're just not getting the fans."
Bossier-Shreveport holds the lowest attendance, 2,974 on April 3. Other teams, including Tampa Bay, have had no trouble drawing fans. The Storm's lowest announced attendance has been 12,874, and it drew 16,200 on June 5 against Oklahoma City.
Honors: DB Erick McIntosh, signed May 26, was named the league's defensive player of the week for his performance Friday at Alabama.
In just his second game, he had a team-high 11 tackles, and his first-quarter interception led to a touchdown.
McIntosh is the second Storm player to win the award in three weeks. Daryon Brutley won for his performance against Orlando on May 28.
No Picks: Against Oklahoma City on June 5, Brett Dietz was 18-of-35 for 226 yards, six touchdowns and two interceptions.
Friday at Alabama, he put up similar numbers — 20-of-36, 256 yards, six touchdowns — but no interceptions. It was the first time Dietz hadn't thrown one since May 1 against Arizona.
"He got hit a lot … but he stood tall in the pocket and made the throws," Marcum said. "The big thing was no picks."
Playoff watch: With its fourth consecutive win, Tampa Bay (6-3, one game behind Jacksonville in the Southern Division) has positioned itself nicely for a spot in the postseason. The two division winners from each conference make the playoffs as well as the two next best teams regardless of division.