Arena Football League closes team op­er­a­tions; fu­ture un­clear

The Saratogian (Saratoga, NY) - - SPORTS -

PHILADEL­PHIA (AP) >> The Arena Football League is clos­ing its busi­ness op­er­a­tions in its six local mar­kets, calling it a “dif­fi­cult, but nec­es­sary de­ci­sion.”

The league hasn’t de­cided what the next step will be.

“We have not yet made the fi­nal de­ter­mi­na­tion that it will be nec­es­sary to sus­pend all League op­er­a­tions, but we ex­pect that de­ci­sion to be made within the next few weeks,” Com­mis­sioner Ran­dall Boe said in a state­ment Tues­day night.

He says the de­ci­sion to close team ser­vices and busi­ness op­er­a­tions in the local mar­kets was caused by “ex­ten­sive legacy li­a­bil­i­ties” and a re­cent mul­ti­mil­lion-dol­lar law­suit filed against the in­door league by its for­mer in­surance car­rier.

But, he said, “We are ex­plor­ing ev­ery pos­si­ble av­enue to con­tinue bring­ing AFL football to our fans.”

Boe told the Al­bany Times-Union the AFL could evolve into a trav­el­ing league mod­eled af­ter the six-team Premier Lacrosse League, which just com­pleted its first sea­son and has plans to re­turn next year.

The Arena Football League was founded in 1987 by Jim Fos­ter, a for­mer NFL ex­ec­u­tive. The fast-paced game is played on a 66-by-28 yard field, about one-fourth the size of an NFL field. Fran­chises are Al­bany, New York; Atlantic City, New Jersey; Bal­ti­more; Colum­bus, Ohio; Philadel­phia and Wash­ing­ton.

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