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Runtime: 30 minutes
AFL - Arena Football League - Netflix
The Arena Football League (AFL) is a professional indoor American football league in the United States. It was founded in 1987 by Jim Foster, making it the third longest-running professional football league in North America, after the Canadian Football League (CFL) and the National Football League (NFL). The AFL plays a proprietary code known as arena football, a form of indoor American football played on a 66-by-28 yard field (about a quarter of the surface area of an NFL field), with rules encouraging offensive performance, resulting in a faster-paced and higher-scoring game. The sport was invented in the early 1980s and patented by Foster, a former executive of the United States Football League (USFL) and the NFL. From 2000 to 2009, the AFL had its own developmental league, the af2. The AFL played 22 seasons from 1987 to 2008; internal issues caused the league to cancel its 2009 season, though the af2 did play. Later that year both the AFL and af2 were dissolved and reorganized as a new corporation comprising teams from both leagues, and the AFL returned in 2010. The AFL has its headquarters in Las Vegas. The league's average game attendance since returning in 2010 has been approximately 9,500. The league has historically had a nationwide footprint, and has been recognized as the most prominent professional indoor football league in North America, offering higher payment, more widespread media exposure, and a longer history than competing leagues. Since a league high of 19 members in 2007, the league has since contracted to a four team league for the 2018 season, all in the northeastern United States.
AFL - Contraction (2015–present) - Netflix
Jerry Kurz also stepped down as commissioner of the AFL as he was promoted to be the AFL's first president. Former Foxwoods CEO Scott Butera was hired as his successor as commissioner. On August 9, 2015, ESPN reported that the New Orleans VooDoo and Las Vegas Outlaws had ceased operations, effective immediately, a claim which was subsequently validated on the AFL website. On September 1, 2015, the Spokane Shock officially left the AFL and joined the IFL under the new name Spokane Empire, becoming the fifth active AFL/af2 franchise to leave for the IFL since the 2009 AFL bankruptcy (Iowa Barnstormers, Tri-Cities Fever, Green Bay Blizzard and Arkansas Twisters—now the Texas Revolution—left previously). Rumors began swirling with regards to bringing the AFL back to Austin and San Antonio, Texas, but no official AFL announcements were made on any such expansion plans. On November 12, the league announced the defending champion San Jose SaberCats would be ceasing operations due to “reasons unrelated to League operations”. A statement from the league indicated that the AFL was working to secure new, long-term owners for the franchise. This left the AFL with eight teams for 2016. On January 6, 2016, the league took over “ownership and operational control” of the Portland Thunder from its previous owners. The AFL stated this move was made after months of trying work out an arrangement “to provide financial and operational support.” On February 3, 2016, it was announced that the franchise would start from scratch and no longer be called the “Thunder” as the name and trademarks belong to former franchise owner Terry Emmert (similar to the Jerry Jones move with the Desperados). AFL commissioner Scott Butera announced that a new identity would be announced at a later date. On February 24, 2016, the Thunder were rebranded as the Portland Steel. The league's 2016 schedule, announced on the league's website on December 10, 2015, showed an eight-team league playing a 16-game regular season over 18 weeks, with two bye weeks for each team, one on a rotational basis and the other a “universal bye” for all teams during the Independence Day weekend, the first weekend in July. All teams qualified for the postseason, meaning that the regular season served only to establish seeding. On February 10, 2016, The Washington Post and radio station WTOP-FM first broke the story that Monumental Sports & Entertainment (Ted Leonsis, chairman), which also owns the NHL's Washington Capitals, NBA's Washington Wizards, and WNBA's Washington Mystics, were “close to a deal” in bring a new expansion franchise to the Verizon Center. On March 10, 2016, AFL commissioner Scott Butera announced that the deal was finalized and that the new Washington, D.C., team would begin play in 2017. On July 14, 2016, the team name was revealed as the Washington Valor. There was also talk for franchises to return to San Antonio and St. Louis as well as a potential new team for Sacramento. However, when the 2017 schedule was announced, there was no mention of any San Antonio, St. Louis, or Sacramento teams. On October 12, 2016, the Orlando Predators announced they had left the league due to the reduced number of teams and other pending disagreements with the league. Hours later, the Jacksonville Sharks also announced they would be leaving the AFL and later joined the National Arena League. The next day, it was reported that the Arizona Rattlers were in the planning stages to also leave the AFL for the Indoor Football League for 2017. In the same report, it was stated the Los Angeles Kiss and Portland Steel had apparently folded after both teams failed to return calls or respond to inquiries into 2017 season ticket purchases. Later on October 13, the league held a teleconference with the remaining team owners and issued a statement the next morning declaring that the league would continue in the long-term, although the league did not expressly commit to playing in 2017 at that time. On October 14, the AFL held a dispersal draft with the five teams selecting players from the Jacksonville, Los Angeles, Orlando, and Portland rosters. The Rattlers then officially left the AFL for the IFL on October 17, leaving the AFL with four teams. They were the sixth AFL team to leave for the IFL since the 2010 relaunch. On November 14, the AFL announced that it had granted a second franchise to Washington Valor owner Ted Leonsis to be based out of Baltimore for the 2017 season, the Baltimore Brigade, bringing the league up to five teams. On August 23, 2017, the week of ArenaBowl XXX, multiple sources revealed that the AFL planned to expand to Albany, New York, and Newark, New Jersey, for 2018. The Albany Empire was confirmed October 24, with the team owned by Hearst Communications executive George Randolph Hearst III and sharing non-football management with the Philadelphia Soul. There was never another mention of a Newark team in the offseason. On November 28, the Cleveland Gladiators announced that they would have to take a two-year leave of absence while their arena, shared with its primary tenant the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers, undergoes construction during the basketball offseason. The next month, the longest-tenured AFL team, with franchise roots to the inaugural AFL season, the Tampa Bay Storm, also suspended operations citing financial problems. In February 2018, the 2018 season schedule was finalized with only the four remaining teams, matching the size of the league in the original “demonstration season” in 1987. On March 16, 2018, the AFL and Arena Football League Players' Union reached a new deal on a four-year collective bargaining agreement (CBA), nearly doubling player compensation and expanded health insurance benefits, after the previous CBA expired after the 2017 season. The deal was finally reached amid rumors that the season and league's existence were in jeopardy when the two sides were failing to negotiate through several proposals and supposed ultimatums. On March 27, 2018, the AFL announced that commissioner Scott Butera would be replaced by former AOL counsel Randall Boe prior to the 2018 season. The AFL also has partnered with Draft Kings to bring back AFL Fantasy Football.
AFL - References - Netflix