While I was sitting in on a panel at the Princeton Sports Symposium, Christopher Cabott, a lawyer and adjunct professor asked whether the group of speakers had heard the latest news: The Arena Football League was folding. I immediately left the room to call up Matthew Watkins, Dynasty‘s NFLPA Advisor. Apparently, this “rumor” had been spreading for quite some time. Due to the struggling economy, many “minor league” organizations had seen some of its teams vanish or ask for loans and entire leagues such as the Continental Basketball Association have found themselves on the last dose of life support. Could the AFL, a property so heavily boosted by an alliance with ESPN, be headed to its death? As someone looking to get entrenched in representing professional football clients, I sure hoped that the rumors were not true.
The Denver Post has set a deadline of December 19. If the AFL does not secure financing by that time, the paper says there is a strong chance that the AFL exists no longer. The one thing that is certain is that there is a lot of uncertainty…among players, coaches, fans, and front office executives. At least one team will not be putting on pads this season (if there is a season). The New Orleans VooDoo called it quits in October. No one knows what is going on, but if The Denver Post is right on its statement of Dec. 19, then we should all find out soon enough.