The Arena Football organization did award an af2 franchise to Iowa for the 2001 season also called the Barnstormers, but that team folded after that season (only to be brought back in 2008). The Barnstormers were noted for their unique uniforms, which in keeping with the aviation theme included the depiction of goggles on the helmets, wings on the shoulders of the jerseys, and propellers on the pants legs. The primary figures in the original Iowa organization were Jim Foster, the inventor of Arena Football, and Kurt Warner, the quarterback who went on to play for the St. Louis Rams and win both the NFL MVP and Super Bowl XXXIV MVP.
Aside from the league's desire to re-enter the New York market, another major reason cited for the team's relocation was the inadequacy of their Des Moines venue, the Iowa Veterans Memorial Auditorium, also known as "The Barn". Most of the seats in this venue were located directly along the sidelines as is typical of high school sports venues. The Barnstormers organization constantly lobbied for the construction of a better facility during their time in Des Moines, to no avail.
In 2005, the Wells Fargo Arena opened in Des Moines, directly across from what the locals call "Vets", as part of the newly expanded Iowa Events Center. A new Barnstormers af2 franchise will begin play there for the 2008 season.
The New York Dragons currently compete in the Eastern Division of the National Conference. They are coached by former Barnstormer defensive back Weylan Harding. In the 2006 season Weylan Harding became the winningest Arena Football league coach in his first two seasons as a coach, winning twenty games throughout the 2005 and 2006 seasons.
The Dragons have one of the biggest stars in the Arena Football League today, in quarterback Aaron Garcia. Garcia has the honor of most touchdown passes in a game (11), and second most touchdown passes in a season (104 in 2001). Through his 10 year career, he has thrown over 800 touchdown passes.
The Dragons set the league record for most points in a game, scoring 99 against the Carolina Cobras on July 7, 2001, surpassing the previous record of 91, which had been set by the New Jersey Red Dogs in 1997 against the Texas Terror. It also set a record for the most points scored in one game (167).
On Saturday, February 11, 2006, the Dragons won against the expansion team Utah Blaze 84-81 on the road and they made AFL history for the second-most points scored in one game with 165.
On July 8, 2008 a group of investors, led by Steve Silva, announced they are buying the team from Charles Wang. With the purchase the team would change its uniforms, logo, and colors. The team also announced that the Dragons will continue to play in the Nassau Coliseum despite rumors that the Dragons would move to Manhattan and play their games at Madison Square Garden.
On September 23, 2008, the Dragons announced their new logo & color scheme. Gone are the red and yellow from their color scheme, as green and grey will now accent the black.
^Despite winning their division in 2004, the Dragons failed to make the playoffs.
|Uniform #||Player||Position||Height||Weight (lb)|
|86||Chris Anthony||WR/LB||6' 3"||200|
|21||Angel Estrada||WR/DB||6' 3"||210|
|57||Ricky Hall||OL/DL||6' 3"||205|
|26||Will Holder||DB||6' 1"||200|
|65||Joe Laudano||OL/DL||6' 2"||285|
|51||Ivory McCoy||FB/LB||6' 4"||255|
|55||Craig Moore||OL/DL||6' 4"||340|
|64||John Nix||DL||6' 1"||310|
|7||Billy Parker||DB||6' 0"||195|
|42||Jeremiah Pharms||FB/LB||6' 2"||250|
|1||Idris Price||FB/LB||6' 2"||240|
|76||Greg Randall||OL/DL||6' 6"||335|
|??||Josh Shaw||DL||6' 3"||310|
|3||Kevin Swayne||WR||6' 2"||190|
|5||Jamar Toombs||FB/LB||6' 1"||255|
|11||Carter Warley||K||6' 0"||195|
|99||Paul White||OL/DL||6' 1"||290|