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COLUMBUS, Ohio — Either Columbus or Cleveland will be awarded an expansion franchise for the Lingerie Football League, league officials announced Monday.

The team would begin play next fall. Founder Mitch Mortaza started the game as an alternative to the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show. It has since grown into a 10-team league with a 20-week season.

The players wear helmets, shoulder pads, bras and panties.  Seven players on each side toss the pigskin and slam into each other in the full-contact sport.

According to Mortaza, the right ownership group, initial fan fare and arena/stadium lease will dictate which market is awarded the expansion franchise.

The LFL will debut another three franchises in 2011, bringing the total number of teams to 14 by next year.

“We appreciate that football is part of the heartbeat of Ohio and we eagerly await next Fall when we introduce LFL football in the state of Ohio,” Mortaza said.

The concept is similar to one launched more than 50 years ago, when Hugh Hefner launched another male-oriented business with women in sexy outfits.  Playboy magazine started, followed by Playboy clubs.

Hefner started his empire with a couple thousand dollars.  Now he is worth more than $43 million.

The league is expected to make a decision on which city will be awarded thefranchise in the next 10-14 days.

Fans can help bring the team to Columbus  by e-mailing: