Arena Football Sports Business

The AFL’s Future: Sink Plunging Or Swim-Moves?

Arena Football League

In December 2008, the Arena Football League canceled its 2009 AFL season with the intention of reviving the league for the start of a 2010 season.  Since then, Commissioner Ed Policy relinquished his position, but stated that the position of Commissioner will be abolished as a whole in favor of appointing a new person in a new role of CEO.  The AFL apparently remains in business, and wants to be viewed as a business by using a term like CEO over Commissioner.  In fact, a tentative agreement has been struck on a revised four-year Collective Bargaining Agreement.

The deal reportedly reduces costs — including salaries — and helps lend financial stability to the league. And the AFL was also said to be exploring a less-costly centralized business operation model.

“Players are making economic concessions now in return for a share of expected increases in the league’s value and revenue, because the players believe in the future of the AFL,” Richard Berthelsen, AFL Players’ Association acting executive director, said in a statement.

At the same time, this paragraph should worry those who expect the AFL will be coming back soon:

Moreover, the suspension forced teams to lay off nearly all support staff — including ticket and sponsorship sales, media relations, finance and marketing personnel and even people who answer the phones. Most Web sites are now dormant and one team — the Georgia Force — lost control of its URL (

March 2010 is less than a month year away.  Will teams be able to basically build their infrastructures over again from scratch, pay players their salaries, and generate ticket sales in time?  Major League Baseball was able to come back from a partially scrapped season in 1994.  But Arena Football isn’t Major League Baseball..

By Darren Heitner

Darren Heitner created Sports Agent Blog as a New Year's Resolution on December 31, 2005. Originally titled, "I Want To Be A Sports Agent," the website was founded with the intention of causing Heitner to learn more about the profession that he wanted to join, meet reputable individuals in the space and force himself to stay on top of the latest news and trends.

Heitner now runs Heitner Legal, P.L.L.C., which is a law firm with many practice areas, including sports law and contract law. Heitner has represented numerous athletes and sports agents as legal counsel. He has also served as an Adjunct Professor at Indiana University Bloomington from 2011-2014, where he created and taught a course titled, Sport Agency Management, which included subjects ranging from NCAA regulations to athlete agent certification and the rules governing the profession. Heitner serves as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, where he teaches a Sports Law class that includes case law surrounding athlete agents and the NCAA rules.

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