The end of an era in arena football is upon us.
In a statement issued on their website Wednesday afternoon, the Arena Football League announced that after 30 years of operations, the organization has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and officially ceased all operations.
“We’re all disappointed that we couldn’t find a way forward and we wanted to thank our fans, our players, coaches, everyone who loved the Arena Football League. We all love the game and tried very hard to make it successful, but we simply weren’t able to raise the capital necessary to grow the League, resolve the substantial legacy liabilities and make it financially viable.” AFL Commissioner Randall Boe said in a statement about the organization folding.
The first sign that things weren’t going to turn around for the AFL came in October when the league suspended operations while company officials looked for a solution to keep the operation going, however Boe says they simply were unable to raise the capital necessary to resolve its “substantial” financial liabilities and make the company financially viable. The league suspended operations in October considering plans to keep it going.
The AFL made its debut in 1987, becoming one of the longest-running indoor football league in the country and even launching the career of Hall of Fame quarterback, Kurt Warner. However, after one of its insurance carriers filed a lawsuit against the league, the organization struggled to regroup. Teams also had a hard time staying in the league, making it difficult for them to build a base of fans. Only four teams participated in the 2018 season. The AFL promised to add two additional teams in 2019, but, that wasn’t enough.
While the AFL may be finished, football fans still have another league to look forward to (other than the NFL of course). Vince McMahon is bringing the XFL back in February 2020.