Arena Football League Folds

League Ends after 32 Years

The Arena Football League has ceased operations and filed for bankruptcy.

The 32-year-old league will sell off its assets to pay debts, including unpaid insurance premiums from 2009 to 2012. A report from Bloomberg indicated that it has a total of $50 million in liabilities and less than $10 million in assets. The league had announced in October that it was suspending the operations of its local teams, but the league office remained open in hopes of playing in 2020. One news report indicated that it was hoping to play a traveling showcase season like the Premier Lacrosse League, playing games across the country without local ties.

It is the league’s second bankruptcy in 10 years. The AFL missed the 2009 season to reorganize after being unable to pay its debts, and a group of owners bought the assets and re-formed the league. It fielded four teams in its first season and grew to 19 teams at its peak in 2007. It returned from bankruptcy in 2010 and fielded more than a dozen teams for several years before teams folded or transferred to other leagues. It fielded just four teams in 2018 and six in 2019.

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