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Looking to score in Arena Football

The Plain Dealer

February 22, 2001

Sarah Crump

If Cleveland lawyer Michael Kelley knows his football, his newest investment will be a touchdown. Kelley is a major investor in the New Jersey Gladiators, the Arena Football League franchise bought last month by his law partner, Jim Ferraro, for $8 million.

Kelley is gambling that the NFL will eventually take over the Arena Football League to use as a ready-made farm system. The first thing Ferraro did was to rename the team that used to be the New Jersey Red Dogs. Then he hired as general manager Chris Mara, son of Giants owner Wellington Mara. The Gladiators will open their 14-game season April 14 against the Carolina Cobras at the Meadowlands. Ferraro lives in Miami, but maintains offices here with Kelley. They specialize in personal injury litigation, particularly asbestos cases.