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I was wrong...
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VooDooNut
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Joined: 12 Mar 2011
PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2017 11:10 am    Post subject: I was wrong... Reply with quote

... I thought Butera had nothing, but he had Albany up his sleeve

Good!

Thank God we're at least back to an even number of teams at least

How concerning is it though that Albany is not in the NBA mold as far as a preferred type of franchise to be added?

Serious issue or no big deal?

Confused
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ArenaFanJersey
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2017 11:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not concerned cause the Soul will managing, tracking, and assisting a "local team" in the front office. The Soul have done a great job at sponsors, in-game entertainment, and season ticket holder management. I know at the end of the Kurz-era they led the league in corporate sales so they know what they are doing.

In general I think Albany will be successful. Local excited, solid arena football experience behind the scenes, and good local ownership. I think we should expect 9-10k a game.
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Golden
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2017 2:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ArenaFanJersey wrote:
I'm not concerned cause the Soul will managing, tracking, and assisting a "local team" in the front office. The Soul have done a great job at sponsors, in-game entertainment, and season ticket holder management. I know at the end of the Kurz-era they led the league in corporate sales so they know what they are doing.

In general I think Albany will be successful. Local excited, solid arena football experience behind the scenes, and good local ownership. I think we should expect 9-10k a game.


I agree here. The Soul should have them winning on the field right away...and I heard at the press conference that the Soul has led the AFL in revenue for (i forget the exact) basically most of the last several years including last year with NBA/NHL owners. They will help Albany avoid the pitfalls and with their celebrity ownership, provide excitement and credibility in the market.
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ArenaFanJersey
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2017 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One thing I do find interesting is the new ownership/management group is called Trifecta meaning three not two. I wonder if in their minds there is a third team down the line...
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mactheknife
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2017 3:31 pm    Post subject: Re: I was wrong... Reply with quote

VooDooNut wrote:
How concerning is it though that Albany is not in the NBA mold as far as a preferred type of franchise to be added?

Serious issue or no big deal?


I think it could be viewed either way.

On the positive side, it implies that the NBA/NHL-centric operations plan that AFL 2.0 has been following under Scott Butera at least has some flexibility built into it, so that if someone who lacks the resources to operate at that level has an interest in operating an AFL 2.0 franchise, he'll at least be considered if he has sufficient resources to operate it.

It also implies that there's some willingness on the part of AFL 2.0's new regime to return to a mix of large and mid-size markets, which was in my opinion always a great hallmark of the original league. While I wouldn't want to see the return of a Bossier-Shreveport anytime soon, certain mid-size markets (Albany among them) with no spring season sports competition for discretionary income could be good fits going forward.

On the negative side for me is its ownership. Not that the group running Philbany is a bad one - quite the contrary - but it's concerning that the league hasn't had a new ownership group step forward and take on a franchise by itself. Without the Soul's involvement, odds are Albany doesn't come back - and any time you're relying on one group to sustain two franchises out of only six total, it's cause for at least some concern - especially in the AFL 2.0's case, where if the right two people decided to pull the plug, the league would die an instantaneous death.
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Bring Back The Rush
 

Joined: 12 Dec 2016
PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2017 5:15 pm    Post subject: Re: I was wrong... Reply with quote

[quote="mactheknife"]
VooDooNut wrote:


On the negative side for me is its ownership. Not that the group running Philbany is a bad one - quite the contrary - but it's concerning that the league hasn't had a new ownership group step forward and take on a franchise by itself. Without the Soul's involvement, odds are Albany doesn't come back - and any time you're relying on one group to sustain two franchises out of only six total, it's cause for at least some concern - especially in the AFL 2.0's case, where if the right two people decided to pull the plug, the league would die an instantaneous death.


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AFL79
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2017 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ArenaFanJersey wrote:
I'm not concerned cause the Soul will managing, tracking, and assisting a "local team" in the front office. The Soul have done a great job at sponsors, in-game entertainment, and season ticket holder management. I know at the end of the Kurz-era they led the league in corporate sales so they know what they are doing.

In general I think Albany will be successful. Local excited, solid arena football experience behind the scenes, and good local ownership. I think we should expect 9-10k a game.


They'd be better off in cities like that, where there is little competition and the city will think it's a big deal and the media will actually cover the team. In a place like Baltimore, they consider it minor league, the Os and Ravens will get 2 full pages of the sports page, and the AFL team will get a paragraph at the bottom of page 2 and never any pictures. They even rank behind the Blast (indoor soccer) who gets regular media coverage, not major league coverage, but better than the AFL gets.
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AFL79
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2017 9:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Outside of Ted Leonsis, have they gotten even a single NBA/NHL group to buy in? I think that's a NO.
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in_a _rush
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2017 9:47 am    Post subject: Re: I was wrong... Reply with quote

mactheknife wrote:
It also implies that there's some willingness on the part of AFL 2.0's new regime to return to a mix of large and mid-size markets, which was in my opinion always a great hallmark of the original league. While I wouldn't want to see the return of a Bossier-Shreveport anytime soon, certain mid-size markets (Albany among them) with no spring season sports competition for discretionary income could be good fits going forward.


I do like that they aren't just looking at the biggest cities, there is a lot of potential in some of the mid-major markets. It would also be a good long term strategy to find some of the growing and emerging cities and get in before they get big enough to draw the Big 4 leagues.
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afdave
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Joined: 01 Jan 2001
PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2017 11:17 am    Post subject: Re: I was wrong... Reply with quote

in_a _rush wrote:
mactheknife wrote:
It also implies that there's some willingness on the part of AFL 2.0's new regime to return to a mix of large and mid-size markets, which was in my opinion always a great hallmark of the original league. While I wouldn't want to see the return of a Bossier-Shreveport anytime soon, certain mid-size markets (Albany among them) with no spring season sports competition for discretionary income could be good fits going forward.


I do like that they aren't just looking at the biggest cities, there is a lot of potential in some of the mid-major markets. It would also be a good long-term strategy to find some of the growing and emerging cities and get in before they get big enough to draw the Big 4 leagues.


I don't disagree there, although some markets they've been in (Spokane for one) were honestly really below that.

To put a point on it, here is the list of metro areas in the US by population:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Metropolitan_Statistical_Areas

Now, there are different "levels" of how areas are grouped... ie, if you go up to the "CSA" level, they actually group together D.C. and Baltimore. I'm going with this "MSA" level, since I think most don't group those together (although, in that case, at the MSA level, San Jose is separate from SF/Oakland, which in many peoples mind ARE all in the same "Metro area", so, it is tricky in how the cities are grouped).

In any case, on the MSA list, here are the markets with 1 or less "Big 5" (including MLS) teams:
13 - "Inland Empire" - Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA (None, 4.5 million) (this is another one where this area is generally considered part of the "LA" area by many, but, at a CSA level, it is separate, and has 4.5 million people, by itself, much larger than a lot of markets elsewhere with teams.... it has a number of minor league baseball, G-League, AHL, etc teams, but would this area be more interested in a "higher" level team playing in Riverside or San Bernadino called the "Inland Empire Somethings"? Don't know)

17 - San Diego (1 team, 3.3 million) This obviously just recently entered this list, losing the Chargers. They have a number of minor league arena sports, and because of the Chargers leaving they entered the MLS expansion race to an extent. Their arena is old, but, if the AFL wanted to plant 3-4 teams out west again for a division, it is an underserved market now.

24 - San Antonio (1 team, 2.4 million) They are in the MLS "sweepstakes", although the potential move of Columbus to Austin would likely kill a 4th MLS team in Texas. It is why it keeps popping up as a potential AFL expansion team location.

27 - Sacramento (1 team, 2.2 million) This may change very soon, as I believe they are very high on the MLS expansion to 28 list.

31 - Austin (None, 2.0 million) They may get an MLS team soon as mentioned above, but, they'll still be in this "1 team only" list.

33 - Columbus (1?, 2.0 million) Right now, they technically aren't on this list, but, they may soon lose their MLS team to Austin, which would put them back on.

37 - Virginia Beach/Norfolk (None, 1.7 Million). I believe they are getting a new arena soon, so, they become more attactive to the AFL that way.

38 - Providence (None, 1.8 Million)
40 - Jacksonville (1, 1.5 million)
41 - Oklahoma City (1, 1.4 million)
42 - Memphis (1, 1.3 million)
44 - Louisville (None, 1.3 million)
45 - Richmond, VA (None, 1.3 million)
47 - Hartford, CT (1.2 million)
49 - Birmingham (1.1 million)
---------------------------------
51 - Rochester (1.1 million)
52 - Grand Rapids (1.0 million)
53 - Tucson, AZ (1.0 million)
54 - Honolulu (990k)
55 - Tulsa (987k)
56 - Fresno (979k)
57 - Bridgeport, CT (944k)
58 - Worcester, MA (935k.... when you go up to CSA's, it gets pulled into Boston)
59 - Omaha (924k)
60 - Albuquerque (909k)
61 - Greenville, SC (884k)
62 - Bakersfield, CA (884k)
63 - Albany, NY (881k)
89 - Des Moines (634k)
98 - Spokane (556k)

Note... my dotted line above is an "above/below" line for markets with more people than the smallest market with at least 1 "major" team (#50 Buffalo, excluding Green Bay, which is really a "grandfathered" market and would never have an NFL, let alone any of the other 4 leagues, team if expansion/relocation was happening today).

This is just IMO, but, I would say the AFL should still stick with markets over 1 million, or on an arc to hit that in the next 10 years or so. Which, to that extent, IMO I think Albany is still a bit small (the area is also not really growing, only 1% growth since 2010... as opposed to lets say Omaha, slightly larger and growing at a 6% clip, which would put it over a million in 10 years or so), but, I guess if they did Albany, that might be the "low bar" for now with the AFL. I also threw in some lower ex-AFL markets, just to show their lower size in comparison to even Albany.

So, my bottom line.... I would do some "mid-sized" markets in addition to trying to get "Major league" owners, if it makes sense.... even down to something like Grand Rapids again.... VA Beach I think is untapped..... Providence, RI...... Louisville.
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Bring Back The Rush
 

Joined: 12 Dec 2016
PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2017 12:43 pm    Post subject: Re: I was wrong... Reply with quote

If they decide to get a team in Louisville I would totally get season tickets.
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mactheknife
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 28, 2017 1:29 pm    Post subject: Re: I was wrong... Reply with quote

afdave wrote:
in_a _rush wrote:
mactheknife wrote:
It also implies that there's some willingness on the part of AFL 2.0's new regime to return to a mix of large and mid-size markets, which was in my opinion always a great hallmark of the original league. While I wouldn't want to see the return of a Bossier-Shreveport anytime soon, certain mid-size markets (Albany among them) with no spring season sports competition for discretionary income could be good fits going forward.


I do like that they aren't just looking at the biggest cities, there is a lot of potential in some of the mid-major markets. It would also be a good long-term strategy to find some of the growing and emerging cities and get in before they get big enough to draw the Big 4 leagues.


I don't disagree there, although some markets they've been in (Spokane for one) were honestly really below that.

To put a point on it, here is the list of metro areas in the US by population:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Metropolitan_Statistical_Areas

Now, there are different "levels" of how areas are grouped... ie, if you go up to the "CSA" level, they actually group together D.C. and Baltimore. I'm going with this "MSA" level, since I think most don't group those together (although, in that case, at the MSA level, San Jose is separate from SF/Oakland, which in many peoples mind ARE all in the same "Metro area", so, it is tricky in how the cities are grouped).

In any case, on the MSA list, here are the markets with 1 or less "Big 5" (including MLS) teams:
13 - "Inland Empire" - Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA (None, 4.5 million) (this is another one where this area is generally considered part of the "LA" area by many, but, at a CSA level, it is separate, and has 4.5 million people, by itself, much larger than a lot of markets elsewhere with teams.... it has a number of minor league baseball, G-League, AHL, etc teams, but would this area be more interested in a "higher" level team playing in Riverside or San Bernadino called the "Inland Empire Somethings"? Don't know)

17 - San Diego (1 team, 3.3 million) This obviously just recently entered this list, losing the Chargers. They have a number of minor league arena sports, and because of the Chargers leaving they entered the MLS expansion race to an extent. Their arena is old, but, if the AFL wanted to plant 3-4 teams out west again for a division, it is an underserved market now.

24 - San Antonio (1 team, 2.4 million) They are in the MLS "sweepstakes", although the potential move of Columbus to Austin would likely kill a 4th MLS team in Texas. It is why it keeps popping up as a potential AFL expansion team location.

27 - Sacramento (1 team, 2.2 million) This may change very soon, as I believe they are very high on the MLS expansion to 28 list.

31 - Austin (None, 2.0 million) They may get an MLS team soon as mentioned above, but, they'll still be in this "1 team only" list.

33 - Columbus (1?, 2.0 million) Right now, they technically aren't on this list, but, they may soon lose their MLS team to Austin, which would put them back on.

37 - Virginia Beach/Norfolk (None, 1.7 Million). I believe they are getting a new arena soon, so, they become more attactive to the AFL that way.

38 - Providence (None, 1.8 Million)
40 - Jacksonville (1, 1.5 million)
41 - Oklahoma City (1, 1.4 million)
42 - Memphis (1, 1.3 million)
43 - Raleigh
44 - Louisville (None, 1.3 million)
45 - Richmond, VA (None, 1.3 million)
47 - Hartford, CT (1.2 million)
49 - Birmingham (1.1 million)
---------------------------------
51 - Rochester (1.1 million)
52 - Grand Rapids (1.0 million)
53 - Tucson, AZ (1.0 million)
54 - Honolulu (990k)
55 - Tulsa (987k)
56 - Fresno (979k)
57 - Bridgeport, CT (944k)
58 - Worcester, MA (935k.... when you go up to CSA's, it gets pulled into Boston)
59 - Omaha (924k)
60 - Albuquerque (909k)
61 - Greenville, SC (884k)
62 - Bakersfield, CA (884k)
63 - Albany, NY (881k)
89 - Des Moines (634k)
98 - Spokane (556k)

Note... my dotted line above is an "above/below" line for markets with more people than the smallest market with at least 1 "major" team (#50 Buffalo, excluding Green Bay, which is really a "grandfathered" market and would never have an NFL, let alone any of the other 4 leagues, team if expansion/relocation was happening today).

This is just IMO, but, I would say the AFL should still stick with markets over 1 million, or on an arc to hit that in the next 10 years or so. Which, to that extent, IMO I think Albany is still a bit small (the area is also not really growing, only 1% growth since 2010... as opposed to lets say Omaha, slightly larger and growing at a 6% clip, which would put it over a million in 10 years or so), but, I guess if they did Albany, that might be the "low bar" for now with the AFL. I also threw in some lower ex-AFL markets, just to show their lower size in comparison to even Albany.

So, my bottom line.... I would do some "mid-sized" markets in addition to trying to get "Major league" owners, if it makes sense.... even down to something like Grand Rapids again.... VA Beach I think is untapped..... Providence, RI...... Louisville.


You missed one...
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afdave
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 28, 2017 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oops, yep, Raliegh is a 1 team market as well. Carolina Cobras did pretty well there too for a few years... I'd maybe do them instead of Charlotte really.
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Big Mike
 

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 28, 2017 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought that the rumors about Albany earlier this year were nonsense; obviously I was 100% wrong. I do not think that the current AFL regime is necessarily committed to NHL/NBA owners, but they are looking for financially sound owners who have experience operating professional sports teams. This is different from the Jerry Kurz era, when the emphasis seemed to be on 60 year old heavy metal musicians who were popular in 1983 and people like "multimillionaire hedge fund manager" David Staral Jr., whose "corporate headquarters" was the basement of his mom's house.
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afdave
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Big Mike wrote:
I thought that the rumors about Albany earlier this year were nonsense; obviously I was 100% wrong. I do not think that the current AFL regime is necessarily committed to NHL/NBA owners, but they are looking for financially sound owners who have experience operating professional sports teams. This is different from the Jerry Kurz era, when the emphasis seemed to be on 60 year old heavy metal musicians who were popular in 1983 and people like "multimillionaire hedge fund manager" David Staral Jr., whose "corporate headquarters" was the basement of his mom's house.


I think some took the whole NBA/NHL a bit too literally. The real thing going on is extremely increased vetting and an emphasis on ownership groups where making a profit is maybe second to using the team as a supplement to their facility and to being a proving ground for staff to eventually move up to higher level teams... and where we aren't letting just "anyone" (like the examples you mentioned) start up an AFL team. Certainly, we can still have teams decide to shut down even with the quality ownership.... the Rockets, Pistons, etc. have owned teams in the past and rode them into the ground and decided to shut them down. But, you stand a better chance than with the groups like you mentioned above.

What comes out of that though is that, people who own NBA and/or NHL teams, and especially also have a stake in or outright own the arena, have a much better profile than any other potential owners.
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4th&long
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 29, 2017 11:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

afdave wrote:
Big Mike wrote:
I thought that the rumors about Albany earlier this year were nonsense; obviously I was 100% wrong. I do not think that the current AFL regime is necessarily committed to NHL/NBA owners, but they are looking for financially sound owners who have experience operating professional sports teams. This is different from the Jerry Kurz era, when the emphasis seemed to be on 60 year old heavy metal musicians who were popular in 1983 and people like "multimillionaire hedge fund manager" David Staral Jr., whose "corporate headquarters" was the basement of his mom's house.


I think some took the whole NBA/NHL a bit too literally. The real thing going on is extremely increased vetting and an emphasis on ownership groups where making a profit is maybe second to using the team as a supplement to their facility and to being a proving ground for staff to eventually move up to higher level teams... and where we aren't letting just "anyone" (like the examples you mentioned) start up an AFL team. Certainly, we can still have teams decide to shut down even with the quality ownership.... the Rockets, Pistons, etc. have owned teams in the past and rode them into the ground and decided to shut them down. But, you stand a better chance than with the groups like you mentioned above.

What comes out of that though is that, people who own NBA and/or NHL teams, and especially also have a stake in or outright own the arena, have a much better profile than any other potential owners.


I'm not so sure of that AFDave, I think this maybe a roll back or push back on the Butera Model. Also Jaws, who doesn't fit the model, may have seen an opening to assert himself. The league will spin it publicly but this is a step away. It may even be a strategic move to attract more owners.

Either way its very interesting.
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mactheknife
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 29, 2017 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The problem with the list of markets Dave put up earlier is that either AFL, AFL2, and/or AFL 2.0 already has failed in them.

Granted in a number of cases it's been a decade since those failures, it's going to be damned hard to find ownership groups which (i) look at that history and aren't scared off by it, (ii) have deep enough pockets to sustain the financial losses which still are inherent in operating a team, even after 31 years, and (iii) recognize that it's going to be a decade - maybe longer - of sustained operation, and at least a modicum of on-field success - just to recoup that investment... and even then, it's at best a 50/50 proposition.
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4th&long
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 29, 2017 7:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mactheknife wrote:
The problem with the list of markets Dave put up earlier is that either AFL, AFL2, and/or AFL 2.0 already has failed in them.

Granted in a number of cases it's been a decade since those failures, it's going to be damned hard to find ownership groups which (i) look at that history and aren't scared off by it, (ii) have deep enough pockets to sustain the financial losses which still are inherent in operating a team, even after 31 years, and (iii) recognize that it's going to be a decade - maybe longer - of sustained operation, and at least a modicum of on-field success - just to recoup that investment... and even then, it's at best a 50/50 proposition.


I agree to a point. Yes, in general the AFL is its own worst example of failure. However, the economic crash of late 2008/09 is almost a decade ago. Things have changed. The player salary structure has changed. The Butera model is sound but only if you can sell it to the prospective owners. The word is Philly is profitable or at least the most revenue.

Albany buys them time, evens out the schedule and reduces travel costs. Its got local ownership and some existing owners. If it works it may open up the Butera model even more. If nothing more it balances Leonis's influence.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 2:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

4th&long wrote:
However, the economic crash of late 2008/09 is almost a decade ago. Things have changed. The player salary structure has changed.


True, it's been a decade since the economic collapse, but to be honest, we've yet to truly recover from that disaster, particularly in terms of things like sports fan disposable income. That aside though, AFL/AF2/AFL 2.0's franchise track record is one that, by modern professional sports standards, reeks of instability to a point where I can understand why fans and potential investors would be turned off:

- The New York metro area has seen 5 teams come and go.
- The Los Angeles metro area has seen 4.
- Chicago, the Dallas/Fort Worth metro area, Las Vegas and New Orleans have each seen their teams vanish 3 times.
- Fans in Atlanta, Charlotte, Columbus, Denver, Detroit, Kansas City, Miami, Milwaukee, Nashville, Orlando, Pittsburgh, Portland, San Antonio, San Jose, Salt Lake City and Washington D.C. have had teams fold or relocate on them twice.
- In Albany, Austin, Des Moines, Cincinnati and Memphis, would-be fans have seen not only AFL, but AFL and AF2 teams come and go.

While this in many ways has similarities to the first 30 years of the NFL, by the time 1950 rolled around, there had (aside from the tumult caused by World War II and the AAFC-NFL competition right after) been over a decade with relative franchise stability.

And while Butera may be the Bert Bell of his time in this regard with respect to the AFL, regardless how many changes have been made to its business model there are an awful lot of people who wouldn't touch indoor/Arena football as an investment based on that history - and a lot of fans who would stay away in droves, at least until they realize their local team isn't going to vanish into the night.

It'll take a generation to fix that, just as it took a generation for the stink of the NASL's collapse to settle before MLS was launched.
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