Amidst the inaugural season of the Alliance of American Football, also known as the AAF, the organization has suspended all operations and is folding the business. This sudden news breaks as apparently the league has exhausted all funds to continue possibly related to a disagreement between owners. In its brief existence it has been very unpopular and unsuccessful in the football realm. There was slim to no chance of the AAF competing with the NFL. As most people do not know much about the short-lived AAF, let’s break it down…
Getting to Know the AAF:
The Alliance of American Football was founded by Charlie Ebersol and Bill Polian. Shortly after play began, Thomas Dundon purchased a controlling stake in the AAF. The league consisted of 8 teams. Those teams were the Atlanta Legends, the Birmingham Iron, the Memphis Express, the Orlando Apollos, the Arizona Hotshots, the Salt Lake Stallions, the San Antonio Commanders, and the San Diego Fleet. The first four teams mentioned were in the Eastern Conference while the latter four were in the Western Conference.
The AAF began play on February 9th, 2019 and was previously scheduled to wrap up play on April 27th, 2019 in a Championship game at Ford Center of The Star in Frisco, Texas. On April 2nd, 2019 the Alliance suspended all football operations on the command of chairman, Dundon. Apparently, he is stating that his $250 million investment was to be the maximum amount of money he would put into the league if it lasted a long time and was expanding in the future. He claims that he had the right to pull out of the AAF at any time he wanted. Dundon has invested around $70 million up to this point, and after 8 quick weeks he stated that he was discontinuing his funding of the league before next week’s games.
“I am extremely disappointed to learn Tom Dundon has decided to suspend all football operations of the Alliance of American Football,” Polian said in a statement Tuesday. “When Mr. Dundon took over, it was the belief of my co-founder, Charlie Ebersol, and myself that we would finish the season, pay our creditors, and make the necessary adjustments to move forward in a manner that made economic sense for all. The momentum generated by our players, coaches and football staff had us well positioned for future success. Regrettably, we will not have that opportunity.
“I sincerely regret that many that believed in this project will see their hopes and efforts unrewarded,” Polian said in his statement Tuesday. “They gave their best for which I am deeply grateful. Unfortunately, Mr. Dundon has elected this course of action.
“My thanks go out to all who made our football product so competitive and professional,” Polian said. “I am certain there are many among them destined for future success in the NFL and I look forward to doing all I can to help them in their quest.”