There’s speculation that Tom Dundon bought the Alliance of American Football so that he could shut it down and walk away with the league’s next-level gambling technology, which placed sensors on players and delivered real-time movements to cell phones with a delay in the milliseconds. Per a source with knowledge of the situation, that speculation isn’t accurate.
Dundon doesn’t own that technology, and his investment in the AAF doesn’t give him the ability to abscond with it.
The ultimate explanation for Dundon’s decision is much simpler. As one source with knowledge of the dynamics explained it to PFT, Dundon signed on to kick the tires. Once he realized how expensive it was to own and operate a sports league, he initially tried to cut costs. But that resulted in a cutting of functionality.
He then pinned the league’s future to a deal with the NFL for permission to borrow its bottom-of-roster players. The NFL Players Association has received the bulk of the blame for the inability to strike a deal. The more logical position, however, is that the AAF wouldn’t have been significantly better off with low-level, largely no-name NFL players, and that the issue ultimately provided P.R. cover for Dundon having a basic, bottom-line-driven change of heart.
That change of heart won’t make him the owner of the gambling technology, which may become the thing for which the AAF is most remembered.