JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

The Arena Football League and the 2013 South Division Champion Jacksonville Sharks announced the team’s 2014 schedule on Monday. Jacksonville will begin the 2014 season on the road against the Orlando Predators on Sunday, March 16, and the Sharks’ home opener is set for Saturday, March 29 against the San Antonio Talons.

The Sharks’ quest for a fifth consecutive South Division title includes three matchups against the Predators, as Jacksonville makes trips to Orlando in Week 1 and Week 14 while hosting the Predators in Week 10. The Sharks’ divisional slate also includes home-and-home series against the New Orleans VooDoo and Tampa Bay Storm.

Shark fans will also have the opportunity to see each of the AFL’s two newest teams in person, as the as-of-now-unnamed Portland team heads to the Shark Tank in Week 7, while the Los Angeles KISS make their way to Sea Best Field for the regular season finale in Week 20.

Jacksonville’s challenging schedule also includes a total of three games against the participants in ArenaBowl XXVI, beginning with a road test against the defending champion Arizona Rattlers in Week 4. This will be the Sharks’ first trip to Arizona since Jacksonville’s 73-70 victory in ArenaBowl XXIV. The Sharks will also travel north to square off against the Philadelphia Soul in Week 6 before hosting the Rattlers in Week 8.

Another highlight of the Sharks’ 2014 schedule is the team’s first-ever trip to Iowa, as the Sharks and Barnstormers will meet in Week 9. Jacksonville’s other conference games include a home game against the Pittsburgh Power in Week 16 and a road contest against the Cleveland Gladiators in Week 19.

This season, the AFL has returned to a 20-week, two-bye schedule. The Sharks will be idle in both Week 2 and Week 12.

Both the League’s national television broadcast schedule and the Sharks’ local television broadcast schedule will be announced at a later date.

Jacksonville’s full 18-game schedule is listed below, though dates and times are subject to change. All times listed are Eastern.

Jacksonville Sharks 2014 Schedule

Week 1: at Orlando (Sunday, March 16, 4:00 p.m.)
Week 2: Bye
Week 3: vs. San Antonio (Saturday, March 29, 7:00 p.m.)
Week 4: at Arizona (Saturday, April 5, 9:00 p.m.)
Week 5: vs. Tampa Bay (Friday, April 11, 8:00 p.m.)
Week 6: at Philadelphia (Saturday, April 19, 6:00 p.m.)
Week 7: vs. Portland (Saturday, April 26, 7:00 p.m.)
Week 8: vs. Arizona (Saturday, May 3, 7:00 p.m.)
Week 9: at Iowa (Saturday, May 10, 8:05 p.m.)
Week 10: vs. Orlando (Saturday, May 17, 7:00 p.m.)
Week 11: at Tampa Bay (Saturday, May 24, 7:30 p.m.)
Week 12: Bye
Week 13: vs. Spokane (Saturday, June 7, 7:00 p.m.)
Week 14: at Orlando (Thursday, June 12, 7:30 p.m.)
Week 15: at New Orleans (Saturday, June 21, 8:00 p.m.)
Week 16: vs. Pittsburgh (Saturday, June 28, 7:00 p.m.)
Week 17: at San Antonio (Saturday, July 5, TBD)
Week 18: vs. New Orleans (Saturday, July 12, 7:00 p.m.)
Week 19: at Cleveland (Saturday, July 19, 7:00 p.m.)
Week 20: vs. Los Angeles (Saturday, July 26, 7:00 p.m.)