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Arena Football 1
ArenaFootball1.PNG
Sport Arena football
Founded 2009
Commissioner Jerry Kurz
Inaugural season 2010
No. of teams 15
Country(ies)  United States
Official website ArenaFootballOne.com

Arena Football 1 is an arena football league founded in 2009 to replace the indefinitely suspended Arena Football League. The league was formed with 16 teams: existing teams from the AFL and arenafootball2, an existing team from the American Indoor Football Association, and several new teams or markets. Despite the crossover from the AFL and af2, the league is an entirely new entity and not a merger of the AFL and af2. The league's first season will be in 2010, running spring through summer like the AFL and af2.

The league will play by the same rules the AFL and af2 played by in their respective final seasons. Arena Football 1 league offices are headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Contents

History

Following the suspension of the AFL's 2009 season, af2 league officials and owners began discussing the future of arena football and the two leagues. With 50.1 percent ownership of af2, the AFL's bankruptcy and dissolution of the league technically included the dissolution of the af2.[1] Questions also arose regarding payment of franchise fees and league dues to an entity which had entered bankruptcy.[2] Uncertainty surrounded the league immediately following the 2009 season with no formal plan in place to continue. Several teams folded while others suspended operations pending a definitive plan. The league was formally considered disbanded on September 8, 2009, when no owner committed his or her team to the league's eleventh season by that deadline.[3]

af2 Board of Directors meetings continued throughout and after the season to work on plans for a new league independent of Arena Football, LLC. Final meetings were held on September 28, 2009, concluding with a press conference in Tulsa announcing the league's formation.

On November 11, 2009, the new league announced its intention to purchase the entire assets of the former AFL; the assets included the team names and logos of all former Arena Football League and arenafootball2 teams.[4] The assets were awarded to Arena Football 1 on December 7, 2009, with a winning bid of $6.1 million.[5] Current AF1 teams were given the option of restoring historical names to their teams. Of those, the Chicago Rush, Tampa Bay Storm, Orlando Predators, Arizona Rattlers,[6] Cleveland Gladiators, and Dallas Desperados chose to adopt their respective AFL teams' identities.

League structure

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Finances

Arena Football 1 draws the bulk of its structure from the financial success of arenafootball2. The league runs a single-entity model with the league owning the rights to the teams, players, and coaches.[7] Players will be paid more than the $200 per game salary of af2 but less than the union-mandated $1,800 per game AFL salary; more specific details will be released in the forthcoming weeks as preparation begins for the inaugural season. The cost of running a team is expected to be increased compared to af2.[3] A pool of money will be allotted to teams to aid in travel costs for the airplane traveling that will be more prevalent in AF1 compared to af2.[8]

Teams

As of September 28, 2009, 16 charter franchises have been announced for Arena Football 1, with eleven more teams either submitting membership applications or considering doing so. Additional teams were slated to be announced by the league by October 9, 2009, though this was postponed to give teams additional time. Dan Newman, owner of the Bossier-Shreveport Battle Wings, and Jeff Lamberti, owner of the Iowa Barnstormers, both said the league is currently negotiating with at least four additional former AFL teams, the Kansas City Brigade, Cleveland Gladiators[9], Tampa Bay Storm and the San Jose SaberCats.[10] Among other teams who are seeking to join the league are the af2's Albany Firebirds and Toledo Bullfrogs, both of which are eyeing a 2011 entry date.[9]

On Tuesday, October 27, the Kentucky Horsemen folded because of financial situations. [11] On November 19, the Tri-Cities Fever and Arkansas Twisters left the league to join the Indoor Football League,[12] while the Central Valley Coyotes became noncommittal. These moves left the league with 12 teams. The league later announced that the Cleveland Gladiators will indeed be returning; a 14th team was added in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex (this will be an expansion team and not a continuation of the AFL's Dallas Desperados, which folded when the AFL suspended operations) and Tampa Bay agreed to return, bringing the league's total to 15 teams. With the league's purchase of the AFL's assets, it will use old AFL team names for any expansion teams that open in former AFL markets.

Divisional alignment was announced on January 12, 2010.[13] The league and owners were considering the possibility of a two-tier system with the top tier featuring the more popular, larger-market and larger-budget teams while the lower tier would contain the smaller market teams with more limited budgets.[3][9] However when the alignment was announced, the teams were split into two conferences, with each conference having two smaller geographical divisions.

2010 AF1 teams

Teams which left AF1 for another league

Defunct teams

References

  1. ^ Latzke, Jeff (September 24, 2009). "New arena football league in the works". Monterey Herald. http://www.montereyherald.com/sports/ci_13413142?nclick_check=1. Retrieved September 29, 2009.  
  2. ^ Sandalow, Brian (September 15, 2009). "Future of RGV pro football unclear". The Monitor. http://www.themonitor.com/sports/football-30580-future-hidalgo.html. Retrieved September 29, 2009.  
  3. ^ a b c Johnson, Dan (September 9, 2009). "Barnstormers hope to land in top tier of redefined league". Des Moines Register. http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20090909/SPORTS01/90909049/1023/SPORTS. Retrieved September 29, 2009.  
  4. ^ "Arena Football One Announces AFL Asset Bid". http://www.oursportscentral.com/services/releases/?id=3927683.  
  5. ^ "Court approves sale of AFL assets to AF1". ArenaFan.com. December 8, 2009. http://www.arenafan.com/news/?page=pressrel&article=9540. Retrieved December 8, 2009.  
  6. ^ http://www.arenafootballone.com/news/index.html?article_id=9
  7. ^ Brown, Mike (September 27, 2009). "Caution is new league's strength". Tulsa World. http://www.tulsaworld.com/sportsextra/article.aspx?subjectid=407&articleid=20090927_223_B1_Howcan164403. Retrieved September 29, 2009.  
  8. ^ Sandalow, Brian (September 27, 2009). "Travel costs, geography keeps RGV from new league". The Monitor. http://www.themonitor.com/sports/new-31038-costs-rgv.html. Retrieved September 29, 2009.  
  9. ^ a b c Johnson, Dan (2009-10-12). "Arena Football: Potential teams get more time to organize." Des Moines Register.
  10. ^ "Arena Football 1 to launch in 2010". September 28, 2009. http://sports.espn.go.com/extra/afl/news/story?id=4512394&campaign=rss&source=ESPNHeadlines. Retrieved September 29, 2009.  
  11. ^ "Kentucky Horsemen fold". October 27, 2009. http://www.kentucky.com/232/story/993457.html. Retrieved October 27, 2009.  
  12. ^ "SPORTS: Tri-Cities Fever headed to Indoor Football League.". November 19, 2009. http://www.tri-cityherald.com/yahoonews/story/799412.html. Retrieved November 19, 2009.  
  13. ^ Arena Football One Announces 2010 Team Alignment
  14. ^ Storm, arena football will return to Tampa
  15. ^ a b Alabama Vipers Ready For 2010 Arena Football One Season
  16. ^ Wilonsky, Robert (December 21, 2009). "The Dallas Desperados Are Back!". Dallas Observer. http://blogs.dallasobserver.com/unfairpark/2009/12/the_dallas_desperados_are_back.php.  
  17. ^ No connection to the original Dallas Cowboys-backed Dallas Desperados of the original Arena Football League. [1]
  18. ^ Source: Arena Football will return to Cleveland in 2010- Cleveland.com

External links


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