Arena Football League

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Current Arena Football League logo
Current Arena Football League logo

The Arena Football League (AFL) was founded in 1987 as an American football indoor league. The AFL's attendance has increased dramatically over the last few years, rising to over 12,400 people per game in 2005. The AFL also maintains a minor league called af2.

The league was founded by Jim Foster, a former National Football League and United States Football League executive. In fact, he had a contract in hand in 1983 to play an exhibition game on the NBC television network, two decades before the first regular season games appeared on that network. He abandoned the plan, though, when the USFL was formed, and did not return to his newly created sport until 1986, when he staged a "playtest game" in Rockford, Illinois at the Metro Center between the Rockford Metros and the Chicago Politicians.

Arena Football League logo

Beginning with the 2003 season, the AFL made a deal with NBC to televise league games. In conjunction with this, the league moved the beginning of the season from May to February (the week after the NFL's Super Bowl) and scheduled most of its games on Sunday instead of Friday or Saturday as it had in the past. The practice of playing one or two preseason exhibition games by each team prior to the start of the regular season was also discontinued at this time, and the regular season was extended from fourteen games, the length that it had been since 1996, to sixteen. In 2006, the season is tenatively scheduled to begin on January 27th, during the week between the NFL's Conference Championship games and the Super Bowl. The AFL's championship game is called the ArenaBowl. The league also has contracts with Nike, Fox Sports Net, Upper Deck, and EA Sports.

The league conducted an expansion draft in September of 2005 in order to stock the Utah Blaze, and a second is scheduled to stock the new team in Kansas City, Missouri. Because of Hurricane Katrina, the New Orleans VooDoo announced that they would suspend operations for 2006, hence the addition of the Kansas City franchise. In an effort to further raise the league's profile, the ArenaBowl championship game will be conducted in Las Vegas for at least the next three years, which started with ArenaBowl XIX on June 12, 2005. EA Sports is in the process of designing and marketing a video game based on the AFL, which will be in stores by on or about February 6, 2006.

The rules of the game can be found on the Arena football page.

The current AFL commissioner is David Baker.

Current AFL teams

Eastern Division Southern Division
Columbus Destroyers Austin Wranglers
Dallas Desperados Georgia Force
New York Dragons New Orleans VooDoo ×
Philadelphia Soul Orlando Predators
  Tampa Bay Storm
  Kansas City
Central Division Western Division
Chicago Rush Arizona Rattlers
Colorado Crush Las Vegas Gladiators
Nashville Kats Los Angeles Avengers
Grand Rapids Rampage San Jose SaberCats
  Utah Blaze

× — Suspended operations for the 2006 season due to Hurricane Katrina. Contracted players were transferred to the Kansas City expansion franchise.

† — Confirmed for 2006 expansion.

See also

External links



Columbus Destroyers
Dallas Desperados
New York Dragons
Philadelphia Soul


Austin Wranglers
Georgia Force
Kansas City
New Orleans VooDoo*
Orlando Predators
Tampa Bay Storm


Chicago Rush
Colorado Crush
Grand Rapids Rampage
Nashville Kats


Arizona Rattlers
Las Vegas Gladiators
Los Angeles Avengers
San Jose SaberCats
Utah Blaze

*inactive for 2006 season
Related Articles: af2 | Arena football | Indoor football
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