Report: Dundon can pull the plug on his AAF investment

AP

Billionaires didn’t get to be billionaires by being stupid.

Despite the sense of impulse, wonder, and naiveté that accompanied Carolina Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon’s decision to commit $250 million to the Alliance of American Football, Dundon hasn’t handed over the money yet — and there’s a chance he may never surrender all of it.

Daniel Kaplan of SportsBusiness Journal reports that the money has yet to be fully paid, and that the cash will be transferred over an undisclosed period of time. Unless it won’t be; Dundon reportedly has the ability to stop throwing good money after bad.

“Two sources said Dundon can stop funding if he decides the investment is no longer worth it,” Kaplan writes.

The AAF continues to tap dance around questions regarding the details of Dundon’s deal. Responding via an AAF spokesperson to a question on whether he can bail out from the bailout, Dundon told Kaplan, “I have committed to investing $250 million into the Alliance of American Football. We now have the necessary capital to accelerate growth. We have the capital to make this a sustainable and profitable league.”

If Dundon changes his assessment, however, he reportedly can do an about-face.

Kaplan, citing unnamed sources, called it a “week-to-week” deal, and that Dundon could quit funding the AAF “on almost a moment’s notice.” It’s unclear what would happen at that point; beyond the AAF going away, Dundon presumably would own the majority share of the player-tracking technology that has fueled the app that allows fans to guess plays and outcomes in real time — a key component for real-time betting and other interactive uses.

If Kaplan’s report is accurate (and there’s no reason to dispute that it is at this point), the message is clear: The AAF nearly disappeared after one week of play, and it could in theory disappear after any week of play.

20 responses to “Report: Dundon can pull the plug on his AAF investment

  1. The AAF players should all be driving race cars in the arena and playing on race cars. Isn’t that what he really wants? Get race cars into football, fulfill Dundon’s true dream.

    Race cars and football are to become one.

  2. The NFL is borderline on finding enough quality players. This is a junk league. Why anyone would watch is beyond me. Unless of course there’s no team in their town, or no team that has a chance to win.

  3. I think he’s doing exactly what any smart person would do. He has the money and the ideas to make the league work, and he isn’t going to just hand over $250 million to people who might run it into the ground. This isn’t like owning an NFL team, where your investment is going to quadruple automatically, and the only question is how much. I think Dundon actually has a better feel for what the audience is willing to pay for, and that’s what he wants to deliver. I also believe that had Dundon not jumped in, someone else would have, so I really don’t think the league was in any danger after week one. Even as a last resort, the NFL owners could have scraped together their pocket change and kept the league afloat. This league is going to steal from the TV audience of other sports, and that will make the NFL’s hand stronger when it comes time to negotiate their own future TV deals. That way, they would eventually get their investment money back, and then some.

  4. This could very well turn out to be a very shrewd investment. NFL owners can’t buy into the AAF because of anti trust laws so this man stepped in The tech with the betting angle alone could provide a huge ROI. We need to see this play out before we pass judgement.

  5. Give it time. If a few guys become successful after time in the AAF, it’ll be worth it. Hopefully, they can provide offensive line players a chance to develop.

    The NFL is borderline on finding enough quality players. This is a junk league. Why anyone would watch is beyond me. Unless of course there’s no team in their town, or no team that has a chance to win.

  6. Tune into a game today people. If we don’t support this it’ll go away and we’ll have to rest all our minor league football hopes on the XFL. That’s not a world I want to live in.

  7. I’d love to watch the HotShots today but it’s streaming only, premium subscription plan to Bleacher Report live.

    I’m sure there aren’t any fans in Arizona or Salt Lake that are upset about that.

  8. AAF sucks,,, bad players that couldn’t make it in the NFL… slow offensive players vs slow defensive players look ok… but they are still slow. fumblers are fumblers

  9. People wonder why Tebow or Kaep won’t play here. Why would anyone want to play here when you might not even get your paycheck?

  10. I think the XFL will do better. A better commissioner with experience in Oliver Luck and a league owner in Vince McMahon who will want to learn from his mistakes with XFL 2001. Because right now they are sitting back and observing what the AAF is lacking and they can try to tweak that for the XFL.

  11. bobsacomano says:
    February 23, 2019 at 2:37 pm

    I’d love to watch the HotShots today but it’s streaming only, premium subscription plan to Bleacher Report live.

    I’m sure there aren’t any fans in Arizona or Salt Lake that are upset about that.

    This game is streaming free actually on B/R Live

  12. bobsacomano says:
    February 23, 2019 at 2:37 pm
    I’d love to watch the HotShots today but it’s streaming only, premium subscription plan to Bleacher Report live.

    I’m sure there aren’t any fans in Arizona or Salt Lake that are upset about that.

    ——

    AAF website streamed it for free.

  13. A promise of $250m bought him a hell of a lot of PR.

    AFF needs to sort the coverage, or it will die. Each week I have attempted to follow the league on their own website and the streaming is horrendous.

  14. Its a DEVELOPMENTAL league. Why would anyone expect NFL caliber play? Do we rip the CFL for non NFL plsy? I kinda like the CFL and have enjoyed watching AAF so far.

    Something like this needs time. I don’t see the big deal about the financial investment. Typical for a startup.

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