Storm Cease Operations

Storm Cease Operations

Leave Door Open for Return

The Tampa Bay Storm announced it will not play in the Arena Football League‘s 2018 season and has suspended operations.

A statement from the team cited increased costs and shrinking league revenues as factors in the decision and that it would shift its AFL resources to other parts of the organization, which includes the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning. With all other AFL teams located in Mid-Atlantic states, the Storms travel costs were substantially higher than other teams’. However, the team noted that it would be willing to return if the league’s condition improves.

The Storm are the oldest team in the AFL and the only remaining “Original Four” team, having started as the Pittsburgh Gladiators in the league’s inaugural season in 1987. The team relocated to Tampa in 1991 and became one of the league’s most successful teams, winning five ArenaBowls.

The announcement comes less than two months after the Cleveland Gladiators announced it was suspending operations for two years during the renovation of its home arena. After fielding five teams in 2017 and adding Albany as an expansion team for 2018, the league is reduced to just four active teams.

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