Muscle Sport Magazine

Arena Football League Hanging by a Thread

2009 Season Still On – For Now

The niche market that is the Arena Football League, which has been around as a spring gridiron alternative since 1987, may be a thing of the past. Although the league has released a statement indicating that their Board of Directors have voted not to suspend the 2009 season, the mere fact that this came up cannot be good for a sport that has always struggled to be accepted. Some of the owners voted to suspend the upcoming season while the league “formulates a new economic model.”

The AFL has yet to release a schedule and stated that the “Board will continue to meet regularly to examine any and all long-term structural improvement options for the AFL.” Sounds like the kiss if death.

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While attendance and ratings have always been troubling issues, the fact that ESPN covers the AFL had been viewed as a springboard for bigger and better things. That apparently did not occur, as the recent developments have shown.

If a one-year hiatus does take place, it will be even more difficult to bring back the fans that were there in the first place. With a starting month of February, teams will have to solidify dates at home arenas and cannot wait much longer. Figure on certain teams sitting out the season and a shortened schedule to follow.

The worst case scenario would be for teams to be unable to complete their schedule and games to be cancelled. Skipping a year would be the better of the two.

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