|League||Arena Football League|
|Team history||Columbus Thunderbolts (1991)|
|Arena||Ohio Expo Center Coliseum (1991)
Richfield Coliseum (1992-1994)
|Based in||Columbus, Ohio (1991)
Cleveland, Ohio (1992-1994)
|Playoff berths||1 (1992)|
The Cleveland Thunderbolts were an Arena football team based in Richfield, Ohio. The Thunderbolts were founded in 1991 and were a member of the Arena Football League (AFL), as the Columbus Thunderbolts and were based in Columbus, Ohio. In 1992, the franchise relocated to the Cleveland suburb of Richfield. The team played for 4 seasons making the playoffs just one time. They played their home games in the Richfield Coliseum.
Established as the Columbus Thunderbolts and playing its home games at the Ohio Expo Center Coliseum, the team relocated to Cleveland after a winless single season in the Arena Football League in 1991.
Perhaps the highlight of the team's one year in Columbus was the play of quarterback Major Harris, who rushed for 429 yards during that season, an achievement given the predominance of passing in the play of the AFL. His record was broken however in 2005 when Michael Bishop ran for 459 yards.
They operated in the Cleveland area for three subsequent seasons, playing their home games in the suburban Richfield Coliseum, a considerable distance from downtown Cleveland, sharing it with the Cleveland Cavaliers of the National Basketball Association and the Cleveland Crunch of the National Professional Soccer League. The team did somewhat better than it had in Columbus and qualified for the playoffs in the 1992 season, but was disbanded after the 1994 campaign.
For 13 years, the city of Cleveland, Ohio was without an arena football team. For 2008, the Las Vegas Gladiators franchise moved to Cleveland and became the city's newest team.
Note: W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties
|1992||4||6||0||4th Northern||Lost Week 1 (Orlando 50-12)|
- George Cooper, Fullback/Linebacker 1991-92
- Major Harris, Quarterback 1991-94
- Anthony Howard, Wide Receiver/Linebacker 1994
- John Kaleo, Quarterback 1994
- Cedric McKinnon, Fullback/Linebacker 1992-94
- Tony Missick, Wide Receiver/Linebacker 1991-92
- Brian Mitchell, Kicker 1994
- Todd Samardzija, Fullback/Linebacker 1992
The following Thunderbolts players have been named to All-Arena Teams:
- OL/DL Willie Fears (1)
Note: Statistics are correct through the end of the 1994 Arena Football League season.
- The team appeared on the game EA Sports Arena Football as a hidden bonus team, as well as the sequel Arena Football: Road to Glory.