Just 52 days after kickoff of the inaugural season, the Alliance of American Football may be done for. The league will suspend football operations indefinitely.
The End of the AAF
The AAF kicked off in early February with overwhelming support from football fans nation-wide, with the first game bringing in 3.25 million viewers on CBS. Things seemed to be going just fine for a whole two weeks. It was then reported that the league needed a $250 million bailout from Carolina Hurricanes majority owner Tom Dundon just to make payroll.
Though things seemed bleak for the league for a time, this investment breathed new life into the AAF. The fact that a big-name executive was willing to put that much money into it led many to believe that everything would be fine. Then, the news broke.
The Alliance of American Football’s rocky first season took an ominous turn this week when Tom Dundon, the league’s principal investor, told USA Today that he would have to consider folding the league without an influx of young players from NFL rosters.https://t.co/qUvs5RJJz9
— Chicago Sports (@ChicagoSports) March 27, 2019
Dundon claimed the league needed serious help from the NFL if they were to survive. He said that the AAF needed young, developmental players from the NFL if it wanted to continue operations. Though some reports remained hopeful for the league, Dundon said that if the NFL did not cooperate, he would consider folding the AAF altogether.
On April 2, he did just that.
Sources: The AAF will suspend all football operations today. New owner Tom Dundon will lose approximately $70 million on his investment. Dundon makes decision against wishes of league co-founders Charlie Ebersol and Bill Polian.
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) April 2, 2019
Dundon was reportedly funding the league on a week-to-week basis, spending nearly $70 million in the process before shutting things down.
With details still unfolding, it is unclear what exactly will happen to the league from here. Currently, it seems there are more questions than answers.
It is unknown at this time if this is a permanent or temporary shutdown. The league itself has not released a statement on the news but suspending operations with two games left in the inaugural season seems far from a positive sign that there is any life left.
This story is ongoing.