Arena Football League on the brink of folding

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Plenty of non-football-season football leagues have come and gone over the years. One has largely persisted since the late ’80s. But the Arena Football League looks to finally be on its last legs, at least in its current form.

Via the Albany Times Union, the league’s six teams are closing local operations. A decision on whether to suspend the business entirely has not yet been made, but it seems to be pointing in that direction.

The likely death blow comes from lingering litigation arising from workers compensation insurance from 2009 through 2012.

“We haven’t made a decision on whether to completely suspend operations,” Commissioner Randall Boe told the Times Union. “That’s a decision that will probably be made in the next several weeks. We do know, under any set of circumstances, we will not be continuing to operate business operation units in our local markets. We will be closing those business operations in our local markets, including Albany.”

The Arena Football League launched in 1987. The league went bankrupt in 2009 but then returned. By 2018, the league had shrunk to four teams, with a single-entity structure and a goal of returning to double-digit franchises. In 2019, the Arena Football League had six teams, in Philadelphia, Baltimore, Atlantic City, Columbus, and Albany.

On August 11, more than 12,000 attended ArenaBowl XXXII in Albany, where the Empire beat the Philadelphia Soul, 45-27.

If the AFL continues, it likely would become a traveling league, with players headquartered in one city and games played in different locations, similar to the operation of the Premier Lacrosse League.

17 responses to “Arena Football League on the brink of folding

  1. Maybe the Pats can get one of their kickers – no joke, Adrian Trevino looks worth trying out.

  2. Yet another football league about to fold. But for the last 40 years the “football experts” in Toronto have predicted the CFL would fold time and time again. Well, another league is about to close down and the CFL still survives.

  3. I had no idea this league was still going. Haven’t heard anything about it in years.

  4. “The likely death blow comes from lingering litigation arising from workers compensation insurance from 2009 through 2012”.
    Future CTE culpability lawsuits could potentially cripple the NFL from a variety, of different angles, the most important of which may be the lack of insurance companies willing to underwrite the inherent risks associated with CTE claims.As contract costs continue to skyrocket, This problem is not going away any time soon. The NFL is not out of the woods, irregardless of it’s perceived popularity. Stay tuned.

  5. I used to watch it when they had the games on NFL network, but I haven’t seen anywhere to watch a game on TV in years.

  6. gmen32 says: ..Well, another league is about to close down and the CFL still survives.
    ———————-
    Not because it’s any good but merely because Canadians have identity crises about anything coming from south of the border, and so wanting something different from the NFL. But the CFL is always on life-support and it’s owners dream of merging into the mega-monied NFL.

  7. “In 2019, the Arena Football League had six teams, in Philadelphia, Baltimore, Atlantic City, Columbus, and Albany.”

    that’s only 5 teams — Washington is the 6th

  8. Could Jay Gruden help? He’s one of the all-time greats in that league and I understand he’s available.

  9. who is attaching the the header pics to these stories? NONE of them are connected to the story and this one…a header video about a horse when the story is the AFL? Seriously…if you all need some editing help…Call me

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