Arena Football League announces its return
Less than a year after the Arena Football League ceased operations because of financial problems, team owners announced Wednesday the formation of the new Arena Football League that will begin play in April.
"We're back and we're not going anywhere," AFL Commissioner Jerry Kurz said in a statement. "We are tremendously excited to bring back arena football to our ardent following of fans across the country."
The new league, which paid $6.1 million for the assets and rights of the old league, will have 15 teams, some of which migrated over from the now-defunct arenafootball2 league.
The teams will take part in a 16-game regular season that begins April 2. The NFL Network will broadcast selected games throughout the season.
The AFL also has its sights set on expansion, saying "there is significant interest" from potential owners in several markets, including Southern California. The Los Angeles Avengers, which competed for nine seasons in the former AFL, folded April 20 after the league canceled its 2009 season. The AFL declared Chapter 7 bankruptcy and ceased operations in August.
"The financial trouble the former league ran into was not due to a lack of fan interest and support," Kurz said. "The demise of the former AFL was more a function of a severe recession and rising league and team operational costs. Once we had the opportunity to work as a cohesive group of owners in developing the plan to retool the business model, it was a easy decision for the league to relaunch."
-- Austin Knoblauch