Report: AAF approached XFL about a merger in December 2018

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The Alliance of American Football’s failure to finish its first season constitutes a failure. The fact that it made it through eight weeks of the schedule amounts to a rousing success, given what nearly happened.

It’s been well-documented that, but for the investment of Carolina Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon, the AAF would have died after only one week. As it turns out, the league almost didn’t make it to Week One.

Daniel Kaplan of SportsBusiness Daily reports that, in December 2018, the AAF approached the XFL about a possible merger. Per the report, the AAF “was already running out of money, and “was on life support.”

XFL owner Vince McMahon rejected the offer.

Kaplan also reports that the AAF’s initial primary investor, Reggie Fowler, failed to come through with a $28 million payment by Christmas. It was Fowler’s eventual exit that created a dire situation after the first weekend of games, resulting in a Hail Mary that somehow connected when Dundon signed on.

But with $10 million per week in losses and no reason to think that the AAF would be operating in the black anytime soon, Dundon decided to stop throwing good money after bad. With no one else ready or willing to take Dundon’s place, the AAF necessarily became finito.

22 responses to “Report: AAF approached XFL about a merger in December 2018

  1. The AAF was running out of money before the months before the games even started.. wow!

  2. The NFL was supposed to merge with a league that had been in existence for about 5 minutes? And they were expected to make that decision INSTANTLY? They’re going to be studying the AAF in business schools for years to come. They couldn’t have done a worse job if they had tried.

    Everybody with a brain knew any merger was probably always a longshot but if it was ever going to happen it’d be years down the road after the AAF had proven itself. Their expenses were all known upfront and they largely knew their revenue except for gate receipts. You do the math for what it’ll take to operate for the season (ideally a few seasons) and you don’t launch unless you have that amount secured. This shouldn’t have been hard. Instead, they launched KNOWING they wouldn’t make it through the first season. Dundon’s money just made up for what Fowler failed to put in, so they STILL fold after 8 weeks if their original plan had held up.

  3. The question remains: Was Dundon deceived, foolish or both?

    In some ways it looks like it was obvious the AAF was doomed to fail, so why did Dundon sink money into it? I still think we have yet to learn the real story about the AAF, and that if we ever do, we’ll learn who made money and how.

  4. XFL owner Vince McMahon rejected the offer.

    You forgot to mention how he rejected it only after 15 minutes of uncontrolled laughter at the incompetence on display.

  5. Vince McMahan or Bill Polian. Who would you put your money with? I can see McMahan laughing and pumping his fist after he took that chump’s call.

  6. As the facts start to emerge it shows how Polian and Ebersol misled the employees,and players along with vendors stadiums on and on from the get go… Trying to throw Dundon under the bus is becoming even more sinister by Polian and Ebersol…..

  7. mogogo1 says:
    April 8, 2019 at 10:16 am
    The NFL was supposed to merge with a league that had been in existence for about 5 minutes? And they were expected to make that decision INSTANTLY? They’re going to be studying the AAF in business schools for years to come. They couldn’t have done a worse job if they had tried.
    —————————

    The AAF never contemplated a MERGER with the NFL they wanted to become their developmental minor league which is different

  8. Reggie Fowler???? The same Reggie Fowler who tried to buy the Vikings but never had the cash? The same Reggie Fowler who bragged about playing in the Little League World Series when he was young and after people looked into it they found out he made it all up. No wonder this league flopped.

  9. “The AAF never contemplated a MERGER with the NFL they wanted to become their developmental minor league which is different”
    _____________

    Read the article. That’s the exact term used and it is still “merging” if they’re a developmental league. That just means they’d have been under the overall financial control of the NFL.

  10. Polian had to know of Fowler’s no money big mouth background and thought he was going to come through….this just keeps getting better…Where’s Polian? Harder to find than Waldo……

  11. Looks like the AAF was a house of cards from the beginning. Polian and company should be ashamed of what they did to the players.

  12. Stop trying to create a minor league and treating it like is a big time professional league. AAA baseball doesn’t spend big to get on TV nor do they travel by flying. They bus to games playing in small parks and providing cheap entertainment for those that love baseball. Cater to that and you might have a chance. Starting a big national league of B level players is a disaster of a business plans. Why would I pay more than $15 to see anyone in the AAF or XFL? Ticket prices for the AAF where as high as $70, no one is paying that. Look at what minor league parks are charging.

  13. “The Alliance of American Football’s failure to finish its first season constitutes a failure.”

    Wow, That’s deep man.

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