After 32 years, Arena Football League announces decision to fully cease operations
The fate of the Arena Football League has been decided.
On Wednesday, the AFL announced that it has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and is completely ceasing operations. The decision comes a month after the league had announced that it was suspending local business 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,” AFL commissioner Randall Boe said in a statement. “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.”
The Arena Football League was founded in 1986 and had its inaugural season the following year. It was the third-longest running professional football league in North America behind only the NFL and CFL.
During the AFL’s 32 seasons, it had a varying number of teams in the league. In the 2019 season, there were six teams, but it had as many as 19 and as few as four during its run.
The 2019 AFL season started in April and ended with the ArenaBowl in July, which was won by the Albany Empire.
Although the AFL is now gone, there is still the Indoor Football League that will continue to play games in the indoor format with shorter fields and modified rules.