af2 to continue to operate as normal in 2009
Monday December 15, 2008
League looking forward to 10th anniversary season;
AFL suspends operations for 2009 with aim to reorganize and return in 2010
CHICAGO – The arenafootball2 league (af2), the official development league of the Arena Football League (AFL), will continue to operate as usual and WILL play in 2009 – the league’s 10th anniversary season. The af2 operates entirely on its own and is not directly affected by the AFL’s current situation.
The af2 is supported by 25 team ownership groups that are personally and financially committed to operate in 2009, a sound and sensible economic structure, and a league office which operates efficiently.
The AFL announced today that the League’s Board of Directors have decided to suspend the 2009 season subject to agreement and cooperation with the Arena Football League Players Association while the League works on developing a long-term plan to improve its economic model.
“Today’s decision by the AFL will not affect our preparation for a successful 2009 af2 campaign,” said af2 President Jerry Kurz. “We’re excited by the addition of Milwaukee to our league family and feel that this, our 10th anniversary season, will provide our fans with the most competitive and most entertaining year ever.”
The 2009 af2 schedule was finalized and released in early November. Since then, all af2-member teams have been busy building rosters, selling season tickets and hiring additional staff as necessary in preparation for the 2009 season.
The af2 is also coming off one of its most successful campaigns in 2008. Last season was the fifth time in nine (9) seasons that the league’s total attendance figure topped one million fans. The campaign was capped off by the best attended ArenaCup championship game in league history. The sellout crowd of 10,662 fans in attendance at Spokane Arena (Spokane, Wash.) were treated to the best title game in league history as the Tennessee Valley Vipers scored a dramatic 55-54 overtime victory over the host Spokane Shock.
The future of the af2 stands on solid ground as well as evidenced by the addition of two new expansion teams already committed for the 2010 season (Toledo, Ohio – Toledo Bullfrogs; Worcester, Mass.). The league has also expanded its corporate support by developing multi-year relationships with two brand new league partners – Aaron’s and Russell Athletic – to join current proud supporters such as Schutt, Spalding and Network Foundation Technologies (NFT).
Thanks to NFT’s patented online broadcasting technology, “af2TV” was developed and successfully implemented in 2008. In the inaugural season of af2TV, close to 250,000 online viewers from all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and 40 nations from five different continents logged in to view af2 games throughout the 2008 season. This FREE-for-View online network will once again showcase every game of the league’s 10th anniversary season live over the Internet beginning in March.
With its 10th anniversary season set to begin in the spring of 2009, af2 serves as a vehicle to bring Arena Football to small-to-midsize cities and as a developmental league with an unmatched history of sending players, coaches and officials to major professional football leagues each year. Log on to www.af2.com for more information.