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George Manias to Take on New Role with The Arena Football League as The League Prepares For Growth

ALBANY, NY - The Arena Football League (AFL) today announced Bob Bulman as the new Chief Operating Officer (C.O.O.) of the Albany Empire.  Bulman will oversee the day-to-day operations of the Empire as the League transitions to a single entity model, assumes control of each team and moves executives to the League office from teams previously managed by Trifecta Sports and Entertainment.  Former Empire C.O.O. and President of Trifecta Sports & Entertainment, George Manias, who architected the launch and building of the Empire culminating in an ArenaBowl Championship this past season, has been appointed Vice President of Team Services for the AFL.

Bulman joins the Empire after serving as C.O.O. of Mohawk Valley Garden, the parent company overseeing the Adirondack Bank Center, Utica Comets (AHL) and Utica City FC (MASL). During his tenure, the Utica Comets garnered the AHL Eastern Conference Community Service Award, and Utica City FC was the recipient of the MASL Earl Forman Awards for Organization of the Year, Best Branding Theme, and Best Social Media.

A Buffalo area native, Bulman returns to the Capital Region, where he had a more than 20-year career working in both state government and private lobbying and public affairs.  He led a boutique sports practice that served various clients including the Buffalo Sabres Foundation, Utica Comets, Syracuse Crunch, Finger Lakes Horsemen, OTB, Lake Placid Sports Commission, Skate America, Artemis Sports and Save of the Day Foundation. Additionally, Bulman coached collegiate Men’s ice hockey for three seasons at SUNY Hudson Valley Community College.

“Albany has proven itself to be the top market in the AFL, both on and off the field,” said Bulman.  “This is evidenced by their AFL Championship and designation as ‘Front Office of the Year.’  I am thrilled to be joining the Arena Football League and the Albany Empire, and to have the opportunity to lead a first- class organization that is positioned to continue to do great things.  The Road to Repeat starts now.”

Bulman received his MS Degree in Sports Management from SUNY College at Cortland, and his BA in Political Science from SUNY College at Buffalo.   He will be called upon to continue to grow the team after the Empire captured Arena Bowl 32, in only its second year, after a 19-year AFL hiatus.

With Manias at the helm, the Empire joined the AFL as an expansion team prior to the 2018 season.  Albany proceeded to lead the League in attendance and boast the best record in each of the franchise’s first two seasons in the League, including capping off the 2019 season as ArenaBowl 32 champions. As Manias transitions to the League, he will be overseeing the launch of all expansion teams, the hiring and training of the Chief Operating Officers for each of the expansion teams, overseeing  all teams to ensure that each is running the business properly and are profitable, and will develop and implement best practices for sales and operations.

“This career move for me is bittersweet.  I am extremely excited about the growth the League is about to embark on and am honored that they chose me to lead these efforts,” said Manias.  “At the same time, my tenure back in the Capital Region was so rewarding.  To be able to return to where I grew up after so many years of working in professional sports away from home and to build such an amazing franchise ultimately winning the ArenaBowl in just two short years was an amazing experience.  The franchise is in great hands with Bob now leading the charge.  I would like to thank the local ownership group (George Hearst, Dan Nolan and Ed Swyer) for giving me this opportunity and most importantly, I would like to thank all those who bought tickets, sponsored the team, watched games on television and came to our block parties.  Your support is what helped show that Arena Football is a viable product and Albany is a great market.  I cannot wait to move this League in the direction we are now destined to go.”

Albany Empire 2020 Season Presented By CDPHP.

About Albany Empire

Season memberships for the 2020 season are on sale now. For tickets, contact the Albany Empire sales department at (518) 533-2200 or by going to . Follow the team on Facebook at  and Twitter at

About the Arena Football League

The Arena Football League enters its 32nd season in 2019. Since its inception in 1987, the AFL showcases a fast-paced, exciting game to millions of fans in a myriad of markets. With the addition of two new teams in Atlantic City, N.J., and Columbus, O.H., the League totals six teams for 2019: Albany, Atlantic City, Baltimore, Columbus, Philadelphia and Washington D.C. Each team will play 12 regular-season games in 2019. One can find the League can on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook using the handle @OfficialAFL.

About Times Union Center

Albany’s Times Union Center, formerly Pepsi Arena, continues to have great success. Renamed in January 2007, the Times Union Center is “Upstate New York’s Premier Sports and Entertainment Facility. Owned by Albany County and operated by SMG, the world’s largest private management firm for public assembly facilities, the Times Union Center has an adaptable seating capacity between 6,000 and 17,500. Since Frank Sinatra christened the building on January 30, 1990, more than seven million patrons have walked through the turnstiles. As a multi-purpose facility, the Times Union Center has hosted a variety of events, including concerts, family shows and sporting events, averaging 165 events each year. 

About CDPHP®

Established in 1984, CDPHP is a physician-founded, member-focused and community-based not-for-profit health plan that offers high-quality affordable health insurance plans to members in 26 counties throughout New York. CDPHP is also on Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Pinterest , and Instagram .

About Transfinder

Founded in 1988 and headquartered in Schenectady, New York, Transfinder is a national leader in intelligent transportation systems, providing transportation management systems and services to school districts, municipalities and adult care facilities. Transfinder, an Inc. magazine “fastest-growing company” for the past eleven straight years, has offices in Austin, Texas, and Shanghai, China. The software company develops and supports routing and scheduling solutions for optimal transportation logistics.

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